A 28-year-old man was arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) after losing control of a Corvette during a test drive. The resulting crash killed the salesman in the car with him and police arrested the suspect for vehicular manslaughter, along with DUI shortly after the accident.
The accident occurred near the CarMax where the test drive began in Ontario, California. Witnesses reported the Corvette speeding around 70 MPH before crashing into a tree close to the dealership. The suspect, Alex Demetro, was driving the car before it lost control with CarMax salesman Warren Smale, 43. Smale was from nearby Montclair, California. Smale was transported to San Antonio Regional Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
Smale’s coworkers honored him the day after the crash near the tree where the accident occurred. CarMax’s corporate office is working with area law enforcement on the case. The police don’t believe Demetro was under the influence of alcohol but unspecified drugs at the time of the accident. Demetro is currently being held on a $100,000 bail at the San Bernardino County Jail.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to tell if a driver at a dealership is under the influence in some cases. While this happens infrequently across the nation, it can be hard to pinpoint when and if a driver might be under the influence of drugs or alcohol before they get behind the wheel of a car if no visible signs are there. No dealerships in the United States currently ask if a driver has been drinking or doing drugs, as such questions might open them to discrimination lawsuits.
Time will tell if cases like Demetro’s change the way dealerships conduct test drives with potential buyers. Many dealerships require drivers to have had a license for a specific amount of time, have proof of insurance, and other requirements to ensure for a safe test drive for all involved. In most cases, this is to protect the car itself and not the driver and passengers inside.