Crime

He crashed into guardrail, handed his 4-year-old to a stranger and fled, police say

A Sonora man faces felony child endangerment and other charges after crashing into a guardrail, giving a 4-year-old who was in his car to a stranger and running away from the scene, according to Sonora police.

The incident occurred about 8:30 p.m. Friday in the area of Mono Way and Hospital Road. Officers dispatched to the scene found a Hyundai sedan stopped in the middle of the road, still running and with the driver’s door open.

The driver, later identified as 37-year-old Jack Martin, fled the scene after removing his 4-year-old from the front seat and giving the boy to a motorist who came upon the scene, Sgt. Tim Wertz said.

Martin ran across Mono Way, jumped over a railing and tumbled down the hill to Hospital Road, the sergeant said. He later was located on the site of the old Whitt Manufacturing lumber plant on Hospital Road.

“The passer-by remained on scene with the child until we arrived,” Wertz said. “Truly a kind soul.” Martin’s son was turned over to a family member.

Martin was arrested and booked into Tuolumne County Jail on suspicion of felony child endangerment, hit and run and driving under the influence of drugs.

Deke has been an editor and reporter with The Modesto Bee since 1995. He currently does breaking-news, education and human-interest reporting. A Beyer High grad, he studied geology and journalism at UC Davis and CSU Sacramento.
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