Turlock police arrest suspect in fatal hit-and-run near Summerfaire Park

Bee Staff ReportsJanuary 22, 2014 

— Police have arrested a man suspected of driving a car into a couple out for a late night stroll earlier this month and leaving his car behind before authorities arrived.

Rene Salas, 49, of Turlock was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of felony vehicular manslaughter and felony hit-and-run in the death of Elizabeth Mancha and the severe injuries of her 53-year-old boyfriend.

The hit-and-run occurred shortly before 10:30 p.m. Jan. 9 in the 1300 block of Joett Drive. Mancha and her boyfriend were walking on the sidewalk around Summerfaire Park near the Stanislaus County Fairground when a Ford Mustang drove onto the sidewalk, striking both.

Officers and firefighters arrived and found the injured couple. The driver ran from the area, leaving the Mustang behind, before police arrived. The couple’s dog ran off but later was reunited with Mancha’s boyfriend.

Investigators say Salas was driving the Mustang at the time of the collision and was the sole occupant of the vehicle.

Police ask anyone who witnessed this incident to call officer Mike Stapler at (209) 668-5550, ext. 6683. Witnesses can remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636. Tipsters can email through the Crime Stoppers website, www.stancrimetips.org, or text tips to CRIMES (274637) by typing “Tip704” plus a message.

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