Rene Salas, 49, of Turlock, was arrested Wednesday morning on felony charges related to the hit-and-run accident which claimed the life of Elizabeth “Biffy” Mancha on Jan 9.
Salas is charged with felony vehicular manslaughter and felony hit-and-run causing injuries or death.
The accident occurred at roughly 10:25 p.m. Jan. 9 on Joett Drive, near Turlock's Summerfaire Park. Mancha and her husband Dave McThorn, 53, were walking their dog Dolly when they were struck by a vehicle.
The vehicle was traveling northbound on Joett Drive toward Hawkeye Avenue when the driver lost control and suddenly swerved just before Tramway Place. The vehicle then jumped the curb, drove over the sidewalk, and slid across approximately 20 feet of grass into the middle of Summerfaire Park. The driver then allegedly fled the scene on foot.
Mancha was killed, while McThorn was seriously injured with a broken pelvis, leg and knee amongst numerous other injuries. The dog was lost, but later found.
Investigators determined that Salas was driving the vehicle at the time, and was the sole occupant of the vehicle, police said. They have also determined that Salas fled the scene on foot following the accident.
Those who witnessed the collision or have any information about the accident are asked to call Ofc. Mike Stapler at 209-668-5550 ext. 6683.