IRVINE (CBS) — A 27-year-old Santa Ana man was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of drunk driving and trying to leave the scene of a fatal crash.

Tapu Aniceto Sitagata was booked on suspicion of felony driving under the influence and hit-and-run, Irvine police Lt. Barry Aninag said.

Aninag says Sitagata crashed a sport utility vehicle into a traffic signal pole while driving south on Culver Drive at about 3 a.m. Sitagata ran away, but was caught about a half-block away from the crash scene, he said.

A rear-seat passenger who was in his late teens or early 20s was pronounced dead at the scene, Aninag said. The victim’s name was being withheld until authorities can confirm his identity and contact his family.

Another man in the front seat was taken to a hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries, as was Sitagata, Aninag said.

The southbound lanes of Culver Drive from Deerfield to Warner avenues and the eastbound lanes of Irvine Center Drive between Hearthstone and Culver were closed until about 10:30 a.m., Aninag said.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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