Coroner releases tattoo photo, seeks crash victim ID

SAN JOSE — Authorities have released a photo of a tattoo, hoping that someone can help them identify a man who died in a horrific car wreck on Highway 101 last month.

Pictured is a tattoo from the left foot of a man who died Jan. 16, 2020 in a car crash on Highway 101 near Story Road in San Jose. Authorities are seeking the public’s help with identifying the man. (Santa Clara Co. Medical Examiner-Coroner’s Office) 

The crash was reported about 11:30 p.m. on Jan. 16 in the northbound lanes approaching Story Road, according to the California Highway Patrol.

A CHP investigation found that Dodge Challenger was traveling northbound in the fast lane at more than 100 mph when it careened across all lanes and got onto a dirt embankment near the Interstate 280 connector.

The car then hit a guardrail and spun into the pole of an overhead sign, splitting the car in half and causing it to burst into flames, the CHP said.

Attempts to identify the driver have been unsuccessful, with the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s Office citing “extensive thermal injuries” from the fire that have made him unrecognizable. The man is estimated to have been 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighed about 150 pounds, and is possibly of African American or Latino descent, according to the coroner’s office.

Officials are hoping that someone might recognize a tattoo on the man’s left foot of a red lily between two smaller blue lilies, with the word “Life” written in script above the arrangement.

The coroner’s office also restated CHP reports that the vehicle involved in the crash was rental car reported stolen from San Francisco International Airport. Police could not offer a complete description of the theft suspect, but said he was a black man in his late 20s to early 30s, wearing a hooded sweatshirt.

Anyone with information about the identity of the man who died in the Jan. 16 crash can contact the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s Office at 408-793-1900 and dial extension “3”.

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