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UPDATE: Man wanted by CHP after Atascadero hit-and-run crash contacts authorities

Posted at 4:20 PM, Apr 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-04 20:46:51-04

UPDATE (4/4/19) – The California Highway Patrol says a man who was wanted following a hit-and-run crash Wednesday morning in Atascadero contacted authorities later that evening after learning officers were looking for him.

Richard Gonzalez reportedly told investigators that his truck, which officers say was the vehicle responsible for causing the crash, had been stolen.

Gonzalez was not taken into custody. The CHP says it is investigating his claim, and officers are asking for any witnesses to the crash who have not already spoken with authorities to come forward.


(4/3/19)- The California Highway Patrol is looking for a man believed to be involved in a hit and run crash on Highway 101 in Atascadero Wednesday morning.

The crash happened northbound just south of Traffic Way shortly after 9 a.m.

According to the CHP, a 48-year-old man from Atascadero driving a Toyota Tacoma was about to exit at Traffic Way when the driver of a Ford F-150 made an unsafe lane change, striking the side of the Tacoma. The Tacoma driver lost control, went off the highway, through a fence, and struck a tree. The vehicle eventually came to a stop in the Denny’s parking lot.

Witnesses reported seeing the driver of the F-150 pull over on the Traffic Way offramp, take a bunch of paperwork out of the truck’s glove box and run off toward El Camino Real.

Investigators say the man left behind his ID, a laptop computer, and various other items and mail with his full name, address and date of birth.

The CHP is now looking for Richard Lawrence Gonzalez, 39, of Creston as the suspect in this hit and run crash.

Anyone with information about Gonzalez’s whereabouts is urged to contact the Templeton office of the California Highway Patrol at (805) 434-1822 or call the CHP’s non-emergency dispatch center number at (805) 593-3333.

The driver of the Tacoma reportedly suffered moderate injuries in the crash and was taken to a local hospital for treatment.