Hector Castro turns himself in for questioning in July 4 crash that killed Dinuba woman
TULARE COUNTY – A Lindsay man who fled the scene of a car wreck turned himself in after learning that the collision he caused killed a passenger and hospitalized the other driver.
Hector Castro Jr., 22, of Lindsay turned himself into authorities at the Dinuba Police Department at 2:30 p.m. on July 4 for his involvement in the fatal accident. According to the California Highway Patrol, Castro was driving his 2011 Chevy Malibu well above the posted 55 mph speed limit heading westbound on Avenue 408 near Orosi. At about 4:25 a.m., Castro’s car came up fast behind a red, 2005 Toyota Matrix traveling much slower just east of Road 104. For an unknown reason, Castro reacted too late and clipped the right rear of the Toyota with the front of his car.
The Toyota spun on its tires in a counterclockwise direction and propelled the car off the roadway to the south before slamming into a telephone pole. The impact pinned the passenger, only identified as a 21-year-old Dinuba woman, against the pole.
Firefighters were able to extract the passenger, whose name was being withheld pending notification of family, from the Toyota, but she succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the Toyota, 21-year-old Jennifer Macia Magana, suffered major injuries and was airlifted to Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno.
After the impact with the Toyota, Castro lost control of his car and skidded off the roadway to the north. The Chevrolet came to rest without incident and the driver exited the vehicle. A witness told officers that Castro exited the vehicle and then fled the scene in a black two-door passenger car. It was determined seatbelts were worn by all of the involved parties.
When Castro turned himself 10 hours later, he told police that he was driving from Orosi to Reedley and had fallen asleep. Castro said he thought he had collided with a tree or telephone pole and was unaware he had hit another vehicle. After the collision, he was picked up by a friend and taken to the City of Reedley with the intention of returning for his vehicle later that day. Upon learning of the fatality, Castro turned himself in for questioning.
CHP stated that the investigation is ongoing and that alcohol has not been ruled out as a contributing factor for Castro’s driving. CHP did say that Magana had not been drinking and that no one had been arrested as of press time.