Many drivers who are involved in traffic accidents mistakenly believe that they can avoid arrest and conviction if they flee from the scene of the accident. Unfortunately, leaving the scene is a separate crime, and if the suspect is eventually arrested, the criminal charges can be greatly aggravated by a poor decision made in the heat of the moment. The main suspect in a recent fatal traffic accident on Highway 99 near Delano is the object of an intense police search by police who believe that he caused the death of one person and then left the scene.

About 3:10 p.m. on Friday, May 29, 2020, the driver of a Ford pickup slammed into the rear of a sedan. The impact of the collision sent the sedan careening into a third vehicle driven by a 66-year-old woman from Pixley. The sedan immediately burst into flames, and several witnesses cooperated in pulling her from the burning vehicle. The woman was airlifted to Kern Medical Center in Bakersfield; her current condition is unknown. The male passenger in the sedan was declared dead at the scene.

The driver of the pickup left the scene on foot. Police have the name of a suspect who has been identified as a “person of interest.” No formal charges have been issued, but police believe that he was driving under the influence of alcohol when the accident occurred.  The man who is the principal suspect has at least one prior DUI conviction according to court records.

The suspect in this case is facing very serious criminal charges. While he is entitled to be presumed innocent unless and until he is found guilty beyond reasonable doubt, he is facing possible incarceration, a significant fine and loss of driving privileges. Anyone facing similar charges may find a consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney to be very helpful. A capable lawyer can provide a useful evaluation of the evidence, suggest potential defenses and provide an estimate of the likelihood of reaching an acceptable plea agreement.