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 Police Department.
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.
Orange County DUI Defense Attorneys
Are you, or someone you love facing DUI charges relating to prescription drugs? If so, do not hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. for the help and support you need. We are one of Orange County’s top DUI defense firms and we offer free consultations to all prospective clients.