Driver fatally hits restaurant employee walking home from work


Investigators, firefighters and paramedics at the scene of a deadly crash in Oceanside

Data pix.

OCEANSIDE, Calif. -- Police say a driver was intoxicated and trying to escape an earlier crash when he hit and killed a man crossing the street in North County Tuesday night.

The initial crash was reported shortly after 10:15 p.m. Tuesday at the intersection of Douglas Drive and Mission Avenue, Oceanside police Sgt. Rick Davis said.

When officers arrived, they found a man lying unconscious in the eastbound lanes of Mission Avenue east of the intersection, Davis said. He was pronounced dead at the scene and later identified as 65-year-old Tran Thanhminh of Oceanside.

The victim, who worked at nearby Pho Ha Grill & Bar, had just left the restaurant and was walking home with his wife when the crash occurred, authorities said.

Investigators believe a 2011 Chevrolet Silverado pickup was heading eastbound on Mission Avenue at a high speed when it ran a red light and collided with a Ford F-150 pickup that was heading northbound on Douglas Drive, Davis said.

After the crash, the Chevy driver backed up, then began heading eastbound on Mission Avenue again before hitting Thanminh in the crosswalk and dragging him roughly 150 feet down the street.

The Chevy driver continued on Mission Avenue before getting out of the pickup at Rancho Del Oro and running off along with a passenger who had been riding in the pickup.

Officers searched the area with the help of a police helicopter and found the suspected pickup driver nearby, as well as the passenger.

The suspected driver, identified as 27-year-old Wesley Stuart, was arrested, Davis said. The passenger was detained but later released.

Stuart was booked into the Vista Detention Facility on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter, felony hit-and-run and driving under the influence, he said.

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