Party bus driver surrenders, accused of dragging pedestrian 200 feet

Driver of party bus surrenders after it allegedly strikes pedestrian and drags him more than 200 feet

The driver of a party bus that struck a pedestrian and dragged him more than 200 feet surrendered to officials early Tuesday morning, authorities said.

Tommy Anthony Gutierrez, 37, of City Terrace surrendered about 9 a.m. to detectives at the Los Angeles County sheriff’s station in Norwalk, a day after investigators located the party bus, Det. Carl Anna said.

Gutierrez was arrested on suspicion of felony hit-and-run and driving on a suspended license, he said. He is being held in lieu of $50,000 bail.

On Monday, detectives said they had found the vehicle, a 1998 Ford E-450 bus, and its registered owner, who is a Pico Rivera resident.

Sheriff’s officials said the owner cooperated with investigators. The party bus was held as evidence at a local tow yard.

Gutierrez was positively identified by the bus' owner and by several people who were on the bus at the time of the crash, Anna said.

Efren Virgen Jr., 26, was walking on Fairford Avenue south of Ratliffe Street about 2:30 a.m. Saturday in Norwalk when he was struck by a black bus with flashing interior lights and music blasting from the speakers, authorities said.

Virgen suffered major injuries and was rushed to a hospital. Investigators told reporters at the scene that the driver appeared to realize that someone had been hit but continued driving anyway.

For breaking news in California, follow @VeronicaRochaLA

Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World