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Witness describes the scene of a multiple car crash involving a wrong way driver; Cal Poly employee killed while trying to help

Posted at 8:06 PM, Jul 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-15 23:06:17-04

Authorities are searching for a King City man who they say ran from the scene of a crash in Paso Robles early Monday morning that ultimately left a Good Samaritan dead.

We’ve learned the woman killed was a Cal Poly employee.

CHP says she and another man saw the crash involving a wrong-way driver that happened south of the Spring Street exit.

They pulled over to help, but debris in the road caused a third driver to crash hitting and killing one of those Samaritans.

“We were raised on the highway and they are down there and as it sloped like this that’s where the accident occurred and I stopped right there,” said Aaron Miller, who witnessed the aftermath of the crash.

Driving southbound on Highway 101 just before 2 a.m. Monday, Aaron Miller saw this:

Photo: Aaron Miller

The aftermath of a wrong way driver who crashed head-on into a woman driving north.

“I looked over to see if there were any vehicles and saw some tail lights that looked like they were going south along with me but on the opposite side of the highway,” said Miller.

CHP says that wrong way driver is 40-year-old Pedro Alvarado-Torres of King City. 

However, shortly after the first collision, a second one became deadly.

“The driver who was driving the wrong way fled the scene on foot and then two other vehicles saw the crash vehicle in the center median and stopped to render aid and then they were struck by a third vehicle that came through the scene,” said officer Patrick Seebart, the public information officer of CHP Templeton.

The debris from the first crash ripped off the tire of a transit vehicle driving north.

“I just see a large plume of dust and debris and bits of cars and tires,” said Miller.

It caused the driver to lose control and hit two Good Samaritans near the center median as they were trying to help the first crash victim.

Both pedestrians from Paso Robles were transported to nearby hospitals.

55-year-old Monica Cantu later died from her injuries, 49-year-old Raul Gomez suffered major injuries. 

“It’s kind of a freak accident,” said officer Seebart. “They had the very best intentions to help somebody and now they are injured or killed.”

CHP says the search is on for Torres.

“We look over and we see the guy running southbound toward Firestone,” said Miller.

Officers say when he is found, Torres will face charges.

Witnesses say it was hard to tell what Torres was wearing, but Miller believes he was wearing a long sleeve plaid shirt. 

CHP is asking for the public’s help at this time.

If you saw the crash or the aftermath or have seen Torres, you are asked to call authorities.