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December 1, 2021

Man Killed Sunday in One-Car Crash

Deceased driver had a suspended license for DUI-related
San Benito County – A 24-year-old Morgan Hill man was killed in a single vehicle accident that sent his passenger to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. 

Pete Benavidez was pronounced dead at 7:32pm Sunday by the San Benito County Coroner at the scene of the accident. 

According to the California Highway Patrol report at 6:38pm Benavidez was driving a Chevy Malibu northbound on San Felipe Road south of Highway 152 with Hollister resident Zeke Hernandez, 22, a passenger. 

Benavidez was speeding and was unable to steer the Malibu around a gradual left turn, according to a CHP report. The car drifted onto the dirt shoulder on the right side of the roadway, and as Benavidez tried to correct, he turned the wheel too sharply, causing the Malibu to spin around and slide off the road into a utility pole and wrought iron fence. 

As the Malibu’s right side slammed into the pole and fence, the car rolled up on the right side, and the utility pole broke, crashing down on the driver’s side of the vehicle and trapping both Benavidez and Hernandez inside.

The downed electrical wires caused a problem for fire and paramedics responding to the scene, and PG&E workers were called to assist. Hernandez was extricated from the crushed vehicle by the “Jaws of Life” equipment.

Hernandez was airlifted to San Jose Regional Medical Center, where he was listed in critical condition Monday.

It is unclear if Benavidez had been drinking before the accident, but his driver’s license was suspended for DUI-related offenses, according to the CHP.

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