DUI suspect arrested despite claim he wasn't driver in fatal OC crash

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Israel Zamora, 45, was arrested by Santa Ana Police officers after he was wanted in connection with a drunk driving fatality.

A suspect was arrested in a drunk driving crash that killed a Fullerton man back in February, according to Santa Ana police.

Authorities said 45-year-old Israel Zamora was behind the wheel of a 2006 Mercedes Benz E350 driving drunk when he blew through a red light while going 85 mph in a 40 mph zone.

Detectives said the Mercedes crashed into a 1999 Ford Mustang and nearly ripped the car in half.

The driver of the Ford, identified as 61-year-old Mitchell Viturnio, was killed. Officials stated Viturnio was heading to work.

According to police, there were four people in the Mercedes at the time of the crash, but two ran the scene.

Zamora claimed he was a passenger in the vehicle, and video from the crash showed Zamora getting treated for a serious leg injury.

Using forensic evidence, police said they were able to determine Zamora was in fact the driver of the Mercedes.

"They took his blood alcohol at that time, as they were investigating the case," explained Cpl. Anthony Bertagna with the Santa Ana Police Department. "That blood alcohol came up twice the legal limit."

ABC7 was with Santa Ana police at the time of Zamora's arrest and he had no comment.

Friends of the Viturino said they were relieved an arrest was made, but that they were still upset because they lost a loved one.

"This was an innocent man that was just driving to work, when this happened," Bertagna said. "It's cold and it's callous."

Officers booked Zamora for gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. He was being held on $250,000 bail.

Related Topics:
drunk drivingdrunk driving deatharrestpolicewarrant arrestsSanta AnaOrange County
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