Sunday crashes keep law enforcement busy

cpride@losbanosenterprise.comJuly 29, 2014 

Three injury accidents occurred Sunday, according to the Los Banos Police Department.

Cmdr. Jason Hedden said at 2:28 p.m., a 2009 Toyota Corolla was traveling northbound on Stonewood Drive near the Vineyard Drive intersection when it ran a stop sign, causing a silver Mitsubishi Galant traveling east to crash into it.

As officers arrived, two males, the driver and one of his passengers, fled from the Toyota. They left an injured Priscilla Saiz, 27, of Los Banos inside the car.

Saiz was taken to Memorial Hospital, Los Banos, and subsequently airlifted to a Modesto area hospital to be treated for her injuries. The driver of the Mitsubishi Galant was not injured.

Hedden said officers quickly stopped the passenger who fled. Police said the driver managed to get away.

Mahad Abdirashid Hussein, 18, of San Jose, was wanted in San Jose for an auto theft warrant and the Corolla was reported stolen in San Jose, Hedden said. Hussein was arrested on suspicion of auto theft as well as having an outstanding warrant. He is being held at the John Latorraca Correctional Facility in lieu of $60,000 bond.

Hedden said police will likely arrest Saiz after she recovers from her injuries. He said law enforcement is searching for the driver, who is described as an Hispanic male with a medium build and wearing a gray T-shirt, gray hat and blue jeans.

A second accident occurred at 9:59 a.m., police said.

Ari Balverde-Contreras, 21, was traveling south on West I Street near the Cardoza Road intersection in a Chrysler 300 when his vehicle left and hit a wooden fence. Police said the car kept traveling into the back yard of a residence on the 800 block of West I, hit a tree and caught fire.

Balverde-Contreras, who escaped the vehicle with burns on his arm, reportedly told the police he had fallen asleep. Law enforcement determined he was driving under the influence of alcohol. Balverde-Contreras was taken to Memorial Hospital, Los Banos, for treatment of his injuries. He was subsequently placed under arrest on suspicion of DUI and driving without a license. Balverde-Contreras is free on bond.

Police said no one inside the residence was hurt.

A third accident occurred on Pacheco Boulevard near West I Street about 2:30 p.m., when a car was struck and ended up in a flowerbed in front of a Shell gas station. Police said paramedics arrived on the scene. No further details were available.

Police have yet to release details on that crash.

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