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Driver in fatal hit and run arrested
Salas2c Rene
Rene Salas


The man believed to be responsible for a collision that killed a Turlock woman and injured her husband has been taken into custody by the Turlock Police Department.

Rene Salas, 49, was arrested around 11 a.m. Wednesday on charges of felony vehicular manslaughter and felony hit-and-run causing injuries or death.

The charges stem from a hit and run collision in Turlock that killed Elizabeth Mancha, 46, and injured Dave McThorn, 53, on Jan. 9.

The couple had been out walking their dog at Summerfaire Park on Joett Drive. The driver of a Ford Mustang, now believed to be Salas, lost control of the vehicle and drove up onto the sidewalk, striking Mancha and McThorn.

Mancha was pronounced dead at the scene.

Witnesses called 911 about the collision and reported seeing the driver, running from the scene. Officers set up a perimeter around the area, but did not locate the driver.

Salas is the registered owner of the car and investigators have now established that he was driving at the time of the collision and was the sole occupant of the vehicle, said Turlock Police Sgt. Stephen Webb. Investigators also have credible evidence that Salas was the man who ran from the scene of the collision.

Salas was located at his residence the day after the collision, but refused to give a statement to investigators, according to the police department.

In the last nine years Salas has racked up 10 traffic violations, the majority of which were for driving on a suspended license, according to the Stanislaus County Superior Court records. He also has a conviction on two counts of grand theft.

The police department is still seeking witnesses to the collision. Anyone who witnessed it can call Officer Mike Stapler at 668-5550 ext. 6683.