Central Valley man accused of hit-and-run after Cuesta Grade crash

May 20, 2012 

Authorities are accusing a Central Valley man of felony hit-and-run after a Saturday morning crash north of the Cuesta Grade along Highway 101 in which two passengers were ejected.

The California Highway Patrol reported Sunday that officers arrested Saul Aguilar, 24, of the town of Laton south of Fresno, after an officer with a police dog found him along a frontage road on Saturday afternoon.

Just after 6 a.m., CHP officers arrived at the crash site along southbound Highway 101, at the railroad crossing north of the Grade, where they found two passengers who weren’t wearing seatbelts had been ejected, suffering moderate injuries, according to a press release issued Sunday.

Aguilar apparently lost control of his 1992 Honda Civic hatchback while speeding during an unsafe turn, hitting a dirt center divider and embankment before the car caught air and then landed on its wheels.

He allegedly ran away into the dense wooded area west of the freeway, the CHP said. The agency reported that it had a number of officers and an airplane looking for him.

The CHP reported that a witness who had seen him fleeing the crash spotted him later running across the freeway at another location later in the day.

Aguilar was treated for cuts to his face and abrasions before being booked into the San Luis Obispo County Jail on suspicion of hit-and-run and a misdemeanor traffic warrant. He remained in custody as of Sunday evening in lieu of $50,000 bail, according to jail records.

A passenger from Raisin City in Fresno County reportedly suffered a head injury, as well as bruises and abrasions to his arms and legs.

Another passenger, from Fresno, suffered heavy abrasions, as well as deep bruises to his arms, legs and back, according to the CHP. Both are age 23.

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