FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – One person is dead after an early morning crash in northeast Fresno.
Police now searching for the driver of a white Malibu or Impala style vehicle, an early 2000s model that investigators say caused two vehicles to swerve and crash with one another.
A horrific scene Monday morning, shortly before 1 a.m. at Shaw Avenue and Millbrook.
Investigators say the driver of a VW Jetta, identified as 18-year-old Andres Ramirez Orozco of Clovis, crashed into a tree and died.
A family friend of Andres says he had recently bought his car and was heading home from work.
“He was just a good kid, just helping his mom, stepdad, his brothers, he was a good kid,” says Gerry Villalvazo.
Police say the other vehicle, a Toyota Camry, was found in the eastbound lanes of Shaw Avenue at 9th street, the driver, a 29-year-old male was uninjured.
“What we found is that both vehicles were driving at a high rate of speed, eastbound Shaw from First Street,” says Lt. Bill Dooley with Fresno Police Dept.
Justin Warren works at a business near the scene of the crash, he says it’s not uncommon to see drivers speeding in that area.
“It’s pretty regular to see people speeding, especially pretty close to the college, fortunately not to this severity that occurred today,” says Warren.
Police say as the two cars approached Millbrook Avenue, a third vehicle pulled out in front of them, causing the two cars to swerve and crash with one another, then spin out of control.
Police are still searching for the driver.
As crews cleaned up the scene, police say this year they’ve had 51 traffic-related deaths, adding that it’s still too early to tell if this particular accident was related to street racing.
“This could be street-racing, this could be two people that pulled up side by side at a red light, revved their engines, and took off, we haven’t figured that out yet but we will,” says Lt. Dooley.
Friends close to Andres, still in disbelief.
“It’s sad that tragedy happened, something bad happened to a good kid,” says Villalvazo.
The family plans to set up a GoFundMe page to help out with funeral costs.