A 62-year-old man from Orange died in a traffic crash Sunday in Tustin, but the driver who allegedly caused the crash was arrested by Irvine police on suspicion of driving under the influence and booked on a host of other charges as well.
The crash occurred around 8:45 a.m. in the 2800 block of Park Avenue, Irvine police Lt. Bill Bingham said. The officers who initially responded were from Tustin, he added.
The deceased victim was identified by Irvine police as David Kawashima. He died at the scene.
The suspect, 29-year-old Pedro Pantoja Jr., fled the scene as the Tustin officer was arriving, Bingham said. A pursuit ensued which ended when Pantoja went north in the southbound lanes of Jamboree Road and collided with another vehicle north of Warner Avenue.
Tustin police requested Irvine police to respond to the second crash scene since the collision happened at the border between the cities, Tustin police Sgt. D. Julio said.
Irvine police made the arrest of Pantoja and booked him on vehicular manslaughter, causing injury to his passenger while driving under the influence, vehicle theft, a parole violation and evading a police officer, Bingham said.
A female passenger in the car driven by Pantoja was also injured and both were transported to a hospital for treatment. There was no information regarding any injuries in the vehicle that Pantoja hit in the second crash.
Anyone with information on this fatal crash was asked to call Irvine police Detective Roberto Solis at 949-724-7024. Tipsters can also call Orange County Crime Stoppers at 855-847-6227.
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