ONTARIO, Calif. – On Tuesday, Feb. 23, an Ontario CarMax salesmen
was killed during a test drive. The crash occurred while a customer was
test driving a red Corvette. The customer was allegedly speeding in the
sports car before he lost control and crashed into a tree.
At first the identity of the victim was not made public, but now we have
learned that the victim was 43-year-old W. Smale, of Montclair, according
to the San Bernardino County Coroner.
Mourners set up a sidewalk memorial at the scene of the deadly crash on
Mercedes Drive, just down the street from Ontario International Airport.
The test drive customer has been identified as A. Demetro, 28, of Union
City, who was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of
drugs and vehicular manslaughter, according to Sgt. Jeff Higbee of Ontario
Was Demetro driving under the influence of an illegal drug? With the information
that we have, it does not look like it. That is because officials told the
Riverside Press-Enterprise that Demetro was under the influence of prescription drugs at the time
of the crash.
According to Higbee, the accident occurred on Tuesday afternoon around
12:45 p.m. on Mercedes Lane, not far from Concours Street.
Witnesses told the police that Demetro was driving at a high rate of speed
before crashing the Corvette into a tree, said Higbee. Some witnesses
told KTLA 5 that the Corvette was travelling at least 70 mph, well above
the speed limit.
The CarMax salesman was transported to a local hospital in critical condition,
where he was later pronounced dead, said Higbee. The police did not release
the salesman’s name until after his family was notified.
Demetro was held on $100,000 bail as he sat in a San Bernardino County
jail. He had a court appearance scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 25.
One witness to the crash, P. Romon, commented on how the accident made
him realize how fragile life is. “That guy had no idea today would
be his last day when he showed up to work today,” Ramon told KTLA.
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