Crime

A passenger in a DUI crash in Merced County apologizes after two teenage girls are injured

Los Banos firefighters disconnect the battery on a van involved in a DUI accident Saturday at the intersection of Fourth Street and East Pacheco Boulevard.
Los Banos firefighters disconnect the battery on a van involved in a DUI accident Saturday at the intersection of Fourth Street and East Pacheco Boulevard. glieb@losbanosenterprise.com

A Merced County man was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence after a rollover traffic collision in Los Banos over the weekend, according to Los Banos Police.

According to authorities, 33-year-old Mauro Martinez of Los Banos was arrested after he crashed into a vehicle occupied by two minors on East Pacheco Boulevard in Los Banos on Saturday.

Officers responded to the call at the intersection of East Pacheco Boulevard and 4th Street at about 9:13 p.m., according to Los Banos Police Cmdr. Jason Hedden.

Hedden said Martinez and his 52-year-old passenger, David Alvarez of Los Banos, were traveling westbound on East Pacheco Boulevard in a 2006 Dodge Charger when Martinez failed to stop at a red light and collided with a 2016 Dodge Journey traveling eastbound as it was making a left turn onto 4th Street.

The collision caused the Dodge Journey to overturn and the 17-year-old female driver and her 15-year-old female passenger were transported by Riggs Ambulance Service to a Los Banos area hospital with minor injuries and complaints of pain, according to authorities.

Hedden said Martinez cooperated with officers and was unable to satisfactorily perform a field sobriety test at the scene. Martinez was arrested and booked into the Merced County Jail on suspicion of DUI.

Martinez’s passenger, David Alvarez, was also arrested and has since been released without charges, according to authorities.

“Saturday night, February 23 I made a terrible decision in choosing to be a a passenger in a vehicle driven by someone under the influence of alcohol in Los Banos and the consequences hurt many people I love. And for this I am truly sorry from the bottom of my heart,” said Alvarez in a written statement submitted to the Merced Sun-Star.

Alvarez, a General Manager at the Los Banos Black Bear Diner, said he wants to apologize to the community of Los Banos and everyone involved.

Alvarez said that he especially wants to apologize to his teenage daughter who he feels he has let down as a father and a role model.

“The sadness I inflicted on her cuts me to the core and I never want to fail her again. She is my life. I am so sorry,” said Alvarez.

Alvarez said he is striving to do better and that he intends to organize a future fundraiser for Mothers Against Drunk Driving, also known as MADD.

“I love Los Banos and the people in the community. I know that as a leader I must set the example for my employees and those around me,” he said. “Saturday night I failed and for that I am so sorry. It won’t happen again. Please forgive me.”

Full Statement from David Alvarez

Saturday night, February 23 I made a terrible decision in choosing to be a passenger in a vehicle driven by someone under the influence of alcohol in Los Banos and the consequences hurt many people I love. And for this I am truly sorry from the bottom of my heart.

I want to apologize to the community of Los Banos and everyone involved. I am David Alvarez, General Manager of the Black Bear Diner in Los Banos. The Los Banos community has been my family for the past 20 years and I let everyone down.

I always strive to make correct choices in life, but this time I failed and I hurt many people around me that I hold dear. I want to say sorry to my staff, my bosses, Black Bear Diner and everyone in my life and those involved in the incident Saturday night.

I want to especially apologize to my daughter who I have let down as a father and role model. The sadness I inflicted on her cuts me to the core and I never want to fail her again. She is my life. I am so sorry.

Words cannot fix things, but actions can. And going forward I will strive to be a better person, manager and father. I love Los Banos and the people in the community. I know that as a leader I must set the example for my employees and those around me. Saturday night I failed and for that I am so sorry. It won’t happen again.

Please forgive me.

  Comments