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CarMax salesman killed during test drive; suspect allegedly on prescription drugs

Police in Ontario arrested a man who was allegedly under the influence of drugs when he crashed a Corvette into a tree during a test drive Tuesday, fatally injuring a CarMax salesman.

The driver, 28-year-old Alex Mark Demetro of Union City, was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and felony driving under the influence of drugs, said Sgt. Jeff Higbee of the Ontario Police Department. Officials told the Riverside Press-Enterprise that Demetro was impaired by prescription drugs.

The accident was reported about 12:45 p.m. on Mercedes Lane near Concours Street, Higbee said.

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Witnesses told police that the driver lost control of the Corvette and crashed while traveling at a high speed, Higbee said. Witnesses told KTLA-TV Channel 5 that the vehicle was going at least 70 mph.

The salesman, a 43-year-old man from Montclair, was taken to a hospital in critical condition, Higbee said. He was later pronounced dead. His name was not released pending notification of his family.

CarMax said in a statement Tuesday night that it was working closely with local police in the investigation.

"Today is an incredibly sad day for the CarMax family. Our hearts and prayers go out to our associate's family," the company statement said.

Demetro is being held on $100,000 bail in a San Bernardino County jail. He’s scheduled to appear in court Thursday, according to court records.

Paul Ramon told KTLA that witnessing the crash made him realize how “very fragile” life is.

"That guy had no idea today would be his last day when he showed up to work today,” Ramon said.

Witness Kerissa Schartner told KTLA that after the crash, she saw Demetro sitting on the ground.

"I think he was probably shocked," Kerissa Schartner said.

Friends and colleagues held a prayer circle for the victim after the crash, where they shared memories.

“He was a good human being. He was a very loving, uplifting person,” Robert Sotela of Rancho Cucamonga told the San Bernardino Sun.

For breaking news in California, follow @MattHjourno.

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Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

UPDATE

2:42 p.m. Updated with new information about alleged DUI.

9:03 a.m.: This story was updated with information about a prayer circle held for the victim.

Feb. 24, 6:49 a.m.: This story was updated to add details from a witness.

Feb. 23, 10:33 p.m.: This story was updated with a statement by CarMax.

This story was originally published Feb. 23 at 7:30 p.m.

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