A Bay Area man has been charged with killing a CarMax salesman while test driving a Corvette, prosecutors announced Tuesday.
Alex Demetro, 28, was charged last week with one count of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, one count of driving under the influence of a drug and causing injury and one count of driving on a suspended license, according to San Bernardino County Superior Court records.
Demetro had been arrested on Feb. 23 when he crashed the Corvette into a tree at about 12:45 p.m. on Mercedes Lane near Concours Street during the test drive, said Sgt. Jeff Higbee of the Ontario Police Department.
The Union City, Calif., resident was released from jail the next day after posting on $100,000 bail.
Demetro was scheduled to appear on March 7 in a court in Rancho Cucamonga. But when he didn’t show up, a warrant for his arrest was issued and he was charged in the death of Warren Smale, according to court records.
Witnesses told police that the driver was traveling at a high speed, lost control of the Corvette and crashed, police said. Smale, a 43-year-old CarMax salesman from Montclair was a passenger in the car. He was taken to an area hospital in critical condition and was later pronounced dead.
In a statement after the crash, CarMax said it was “is an incredibly sad day for the CarMax family.” Smale was the first CarMax employee to die during a test drive, the company said. He worked in CarMax's Ontario store since June 2013.
Demetro was “on more than one prescription medication,” Higbee said. Witnesses told KTLA-TV Channel 5 that the vehicle appeared to reach speeds of up to 70 mph.
Anyone with details about Demetro’s whereabouts is urged to call Ontario Police Officer Brian Olivo at (909) 395-4646; to remain anonymous, dial We-Tip at (800) 78-CRIME.
Staff writer Matt Hamilton contributed to this report.
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