Driver identified in hit-and-run that killed pedestrian

SAN JOSE — Police have publicly identified a motorist they suspect was driving drunk when he hit and killed a pedestrian Saturday night.

Ismael Gonzalez, 43, of San Jose, has been arrested on suspicion of DUI and vehicular manslaughter in connection with a fatal hit-and-run collision that killed a pedestrian in San Jose on Aug. 14, 2021. (San Jose Police Dept.) 

The fatal collision was reported just after 9 p.m., according to San Jose police. An initial investigation found that the driver of a 2005 Ford F-150 pickup truck was headed north on Almaden Avenue when he ran a red light at Willow Street and hit a man walking across the street.

The pickup truck driver, who police said was traveling “at a high rate of speed,” then drove away.

The victim died at the scene; his name was not publicly released pending his formal identification and notification of his next of kin by the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s Office.

About an hour and a half later, police said, they tracked the driver to Starbird Circle, off San Tomas Expressway roughly six miles west of the crash site. They arrested Ismael Gonzalez, a 43-year-old San Jose resident, on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter, felony DUI, and felony hit-and-run.

Gonzalez was booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail early Sunday and was being held on $350,000 bail, according to jail records.

The collision marked the city’s 39th traffic death of the year and the 15th in which a pedestrian died.

Anyone with information about the Saturday night hit-and-run can contact traffic Detective Mike O’Brien at 408-277-4654 or leave a tip with Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers at 408-947-7867 or at svcrimestoppers.org.

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