Man Accused of Deadly DUI Crash in Fullerton

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FULLERTON (CNS) - A Fullerton man was in custody Thursday on suspicion of a DUI crash that killed a motorcyclist, and police were also investigating a crash at the scene involving a Tesla in automated-drive mode and a police cruiser.

The fatal crash occurred about 9:45 p.m. Wednesday at West Orangethorpe Avenue and South Gilbert Street, according to Kristy Wells, a spokeswoman for the Fullerton Police Department.

Francisco Garcia-Vargas, 44, was booked on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving under the influence and driving without a license, Wells said. He was booked initially into the Fullerton jail and was being transported to the Orange County Jail Thursday.

The name of the victim was not immediately released.

The motorcyclist on a Harley Davidson was idling at a redlight on Orangethorpe in the eastbound number two lane at Gilbert when Garcia-Vargas, who was behind the wheel of a 1999 BMW 323i, rear-ended the motorcyclist without stopping, Wells said.

Garcia-Vargas kept going with the motorcycle wedged under the vehicle as the motorcyclist was ejected into the air, Wells said.

Witnesses trailed the BMW and held the driver at the scene until police arrived, Wells said.

As police were waiting for clean-up crews and directing traffic, the driver of the Tesla had the vehicle in cruise control and was apparently distracted by a smart phone when he crashed into the police car minutes after midnight, Wells said.

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