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Hollister
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August 4, 2021

Pedestrian dies in collision on Sunnyslope Road

Driver arrested on suspicion of felony DUI, other charges

Two pedestrians were struck by a drunk driver in Hollister Sunday night, and one of the victims died as a result of the collision, police said.

Hollister Police arrested the driver, Manuel Martinez Vazquez, 23, on suspicion of DUI, vehicular manslaughter and other charges in relation to the crash, according to authorities.

About 6:25pm June 20, Hollister Police and Fire personnel responded to a report of a vehicle collision with two pedestrians on Sunnyslope Road near Sunnyslope Lane.

As police arrived, fire and EMS responders were already administering life-saving efforts on a female adult who had been struck by the vehicle, police said.

Manuel Martinez Vazquez

The police investigation found that the vehicle was traveling westbound on Sunnyslope Road just west of Beverly Drive when it appeared to veer to the right off the roadway, authorities said. At that point, the driver overcorrected to the left, causing the car to swerve and lose traction into the oncoming lane. As the car skidded across the street, a man and a woman were out walking with their dog on the south sidewalk of Sunnyslope Road. 

Witnesses told police that the male pushed the woman out of the way to try to move her out of the way of the approaching out of control car. Despite this effort, the vehicle hit both pedestrians.

The man suffered moderate injuries, but the woman was severely injured, police said. Attempts to save the woman’s life at the scene were unsuccessful, and she was pronounced dead.

Authorities have not released the names of the pedestrians. 

Police detained Vazquez and found that he showed signs that he was intoxicated, authorities said. He was transported to Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital for medical clearance. A search warrant was obtained for a blood sample from the suspect.

A brief background check found previous convictions for Vazquez for DUI and other alcohol-related offenses, police said. Vazquez also had a suspended license for a prior DUI conviction.

Vazquez was transported to San Benito County Jail, where he was booked on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, and DUI causing great bodily injury, police said.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information about the collision can call Hollister Police Det. Bryce Morgan at 831.636.4330. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call WeTip at 800.78.CRIME.

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