ONTARIO (CBSLA.com/AP) — Ontario police have arrested a driver they say was high on drugs when he crashed a Corvette into a tree during a test drive, killing the car salesman.
It happened around 12:45 p.m. Tuesday on Mercedes Drive, south of Councours Street.
Officers arrived at the scene to find a red Corvette had collided into a tree with two occupants inside the car. Both were injured.
The passenger, 43-year-old Warren Smale of Montclair, was immediately transported to San Antonio Community Hospital in critical condition and was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
Witnesses told police they saw the red Corvette being driven at a high rate of speed before the driver lost control just before the crash.
Police say the driver of the Corvette, 28-year-old Alex Demetro of Union City, was treated for his injuries at a hospital and arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence of drugs.
Smale’s co-workers remembered him as a consistently positive person.
“He was the guy at work that it didn’t matter what kind of day you were having, he was there for you,” said co-worker Lydia Garrett. “He would make you laugh, he would make you smile.”
“This test drive is something that we do. It’s a normal thing,” Garrett said. “So when I heard it, I had to come and pay my respects because had it been me, Warren would have been right here on the scene.”
Another co-worker was in disbelief.
“It was so surreal. I didn’t believe it at first,” the co-worker, Artiee Guerrero, said. “He was an amazing, amazing person. He was like a father to all of us. That’s why we’re all here together … we’re all family.”
About 50 CarMax employees gathered at the site of the crash to remember Smales.
Anyone with information on the crash was asked to contact OfficerBrian Olivo at (909) 395-4646. Information can also be reported anonymously by calling WE-TIP at (800) 78-CRIME or online at http://www.wetip.com
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