Driver turns himself in after fatal hit-and-run


visalia – The search for a driver in a fatal hit-and-run accident last week ended later the same day when the suspect turned himself in.

The crash happened at 6:08 a.m. on June 8 on Walnut Avenue at Garden Street when a white Ford Ranger traveling eastbound on Walnut struck Francisco Mayorga, 60, of Visalia while he was walking across Walnut. Mayorga suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene. The vehicle fled the scene and was not located.

At 4 p.m. later that same day, when the driver involved with this hit and run, 48-year-old Secundino Villanueva Flores, turned himself in at the Visalia Police Department. Flores was interviewed and was booked into the Tulare County Pre Trial Facility for felony hit and run. The involved vehicle was also located at his residence. The investigation into the cause of the collision is continuing. Anyone with information is urged to call (559) 734-8117.

CHP Officer recovering from June 7 crash

A CHP officer injured while assisting a broken down vehicle last week has been released from the hospital and is recovering from his injuries.

Officer Philip Martinez was taken to the hospital with minor injuries after his parked patrol car was hit by a car on June 7. Martinez was inside the patrol car while it was parked on the right shoulder of the highway waiting for a tow truck to get a disabled vehicle. Officer Steve Beal, public information officer for CHP’s Visalia office, said the 47-year-old officer was released from the hospital the same day and is recovering from his injuries before returning to active duty.

The accident happened at 4:08 p.m. on Highway 198 east of Plaza Drive when a 2002 Chevrolet heading eastbound on the highway slammed on its brakes in heavy traffic, spun out and skidded off the road and into the left rear of the 2015 Ford patrol car. The force of the impact pushed the patrol car into a highway sign before both vehicles came to rest on the right shoulder of Highway 198. The Chevrolet came to rest facing a southwesterly direction while the CHP car stopped facing in a northeasterly direction. Both vehicles sustained moderate to major damage.

The driver of the Chevrolet, 30-year-old Shavonne Navarro of Tulare, did not report any injuries following the collision. Navarro was not arrested and alcohol and/or drugs were not a factor. The investigation is still ongoing.

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