Passenger Ejected From Vehicle After Crash, Driver Keeps Going

On Monday, the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s Office released the identity of a teen who was ejected from a vehicle and left for dead by the driver earlier this month.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the victim from Gilroy as Joey Julian Pineda, 16.

Investigators with the San Jose Police Department say that Pineda had been riding in the back seat of a Toyota Camry heading northbound on Monterey Road in San Jose just before 4:00 a.m. on Thursday, June 6th. The driver, Israel Velarde, 18, allowed the car to wander into oncoming southbound traffic and it struck a median before spinning out.

Pineda, who had not been wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, was ejected from the vehicle, but Velarde kept driving into oncoming traffic, leaving the scene and Pineda behind.

Pineda later died at the scene of the accident.

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) was alerted to a wrong-way driver on Monterey Road and were able to apprehend Velarde at Monterey Road and Bailey Avenue, approximately two miles from the fatal crash site at Palm Avenue.

Law enforcement officers arrested Velarde under suspicion of driving while under the influence of both alcohol and drugs. The suspect was then booked into Santa Clara County Jail on DUI, felony hit-and-run, vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving without a license, and other related charges.

The Morgan Hill Times reported that Velarde is being held in Santa Clara County Jail in lieu of a $310,000 bond. Daniel Borca of the Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney’s Office said in a statement that Velarde is due to appear at the Hall of Justice in San Jose on July 17th.

If convicted of the charges against him, Velarde could face up to more than 10 years in prison.

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