The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office has added murder to the many charges faced by Alexander Zumini, who allegedly led police on a high-speed chase before slamming into a minivan. The crash killed the minivan’s driver, 43 year old Juan Salido, and put its passenger in the hospital.
“He really acted with completely disregard for the lives of
everyone around him, including his passenger, and ultimately that decision led to the death of Juan Salido,” said District Attorney Michael Gadeberg during the arraignment, according to Bay City News.
Around 3:21 a.m. on June 10, California Highway Patrol officers spotted Zumini driving a BMW erratically down southbound Interstate 280 and onto southbound Highway 101. When officers attempted to pull the car over, Zumini slowed down briefly, then turned off the car’s headlights and “punched it,” according to CHP Officer Ross Lee.
Officers estimated the car hit over 100 miles per hour on 101 before exiting at Yerba Buena, where it blew through a red light at the bottom of the ramp and broadsided the minivan. Salido was pronounced dead at the scene.
Zumini tried to get back on 101, but the BMW came to a stop on the ramp. He then climbed over a woman in the passenger seat, Melissa Dawn Vincent, and tried to escape on foot.
When CHP officers caught him, he claimed to have a felony warrant out for his arrest and that he had been using methamphetamine. A drug test is still pending, according to Bay City News. Vincent was also arrested at the scene.
“There’s one person responsible for this horrific event, and this is Mr. Zumini,” CHP Capt. Jason Reardon said. “Had he stopped like millions of people do across the state every day, this never would have happened.
“The poor person who lost his life today would still be alive.”
Zumini was charged today with one count each of murder, felony evading causing death, felony evading causing great bodily injury, felony hit and run causing death, and felony hit and run causing great bodily injury, according to Gadeberg.
He is being held without bail at the Santa Clara County Main Jail.
Robert Salonga contributed reporting.