Couple killed by suspected drunken driver are identified

jhickey@thetribunenews.comAugust 19, 2013 

Vicente Muniz Montes, 38, of Shandon was arrested Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence, felony DUI, fatal hit-and-run, driving with a suspended license and failure to appear before court (after a previous DUI arrest). Original story »

The victims of a suspected DUI hit-and-run that killed two people on Highway 46 East near Shandon on Saturday have been identified by the California Highway Patrol.

Charles Massara, 69, and Irene Massara, 68 — both of Bakersfield — were killed near the intersection of Highway 46 and Centre Street around 1:15 p.m., when a driver collided with their vehicle head-on.

Vicente Montes, 38, of Shandon was driving a 1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee when he attempted an unsafe left turn and collided with the Massaras’ oncoming 2012 Nissan Versa. A 2005 Toyota Matrix also collided with the Nissan.

Montes, who was believed to be intoxicated at the time, fled on foot with the Jeep’s other passenger, Florencio Rojas, 27, of Shandon. They were found in a Shandon residence during a search by multiple CHP ground and air units, sheriff’s deputies and K-9 officers.

Montes was arrested and booked into San Luis Obispo County Jail on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence, felony driving under the influence, fatal hit-and-run, driving with a suspended license and failure to appear before court (after a previous DUI arrest). He is being held without bail.

Rojas was arrested as an accessory and is also being held without bail.

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