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Gilroy Man Arrested For Fatal Hit-and-Run Crash After Nearly Year-Long Investigation

GILROY (CBS SF) -- A Gilroy man was arrested for a fatal hit-and-run crash after an investigation lasting nearly a year.

The incident happened on December 6, 2020 at around 11:30 a.m. Gilroy police said a man was crossing Broadway just east of Wayland Lane at an unpainted crosswalk he was hit from behind by a vehicle that did not stop. The victim was taken to a hospital but died of his injuries.

Through witness and video evidence, the investigators were able to determine a vehicle description, police said. A Santa Clara Sheriff's Department sergeant who lives in Gilroy and was aware of the incident and vehicle description saw the vehicle in San Jose the next morning and called marked units to the scene to stop the vehicle.

Gilroy police officer went to the scene in San Jose, interviewed the passengers and driver of the vehicle, and towed the vehicle to the county's crime lab.

Jose Elias Zuniga
Jose Elias Zuniga (Gilroy Police Department)

Investigators obtained a number of search warrants, additional interviews, surveillance video and evidence from the vehicle, and presented the information to the Santa Clara County DA's office. A warrant was obtained for the person Gilroy police believed to be the driver.

On Wednesday, officers went to the home of Jose Elias Zuniga, 38, and arrested him for hit-and-run causing injury or death, vehicular manslaughter, driving with a license suspended for DUI, and failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

Anyone with additional information about the incident was asked to contact Officer Romero at 408-846-0523. Anonymous tipsters can call the Gilroy police Tip Line at 408-846-0330.

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