KGET Bakersfield reports that an 18-year-old man has been arrested on the charge of DUI after he ran a stop sign, and the stolen vehicle he was driving was struck by a pickup truck, killing his 15-year-old passenger.
According to a statement released by the California Highway Patrol (CHP), the deadly crash happened on Saturday, February 4, at approximately 7:20 a.m. at the intersection of Alta Vista Drive and Goodman and Irene Roads.
The suspect has been identified as 18-year-old Javier Leal. Investigators say Leal and a 15-year-old boy stole a gray 2018 Kia Optima and were traveling westbound on Irene Street when they ran a stop sign at Irene and Alta Vista. The Kia was struck by a southbound Toyota Tundra pickup truck.
The force of the impact caused the Tundra to roll over into the yard of a nearby residence. The truck came to rest on its roof against the home. The 80-year-old driver of the pickup truck suffered only minor injuries in the crash.
Law enforcement officers at the scene declared the 15-year-old boy dead at the scene.
Leal abandoned the stolen vehicle, leaving his passenger behind. Officers caught up to him a short distance away from the crash scene. He was transported to Kern Medical Center for treatment of serious injuries.
Officers responding to the scene said Leal was exhibiting signs of alcohol intoxication at the time of the fatal crash. He is expected to be arrested for DUI and other related charges at the time of his release from the hospital.
Initial reports from eyewitnesses at the scene claimed there were three individuals in the stolen Kia. However, so far, investigators have not said whether they have found any evidence to corroborate this.