Photo Credit: KTLA.com
A car salesman’s worst nightmare sadly came true for a California man this week.
A 43-year-old salesman for the CarMax store in Ontario, Calif., was killed during a test drive with a potential buyer for a red C6 Corvette Tuesday afternoon.
Alex Demetro, 28, of Union City was behind the wheel during the Corvette test drive when he left the road and struck a tree, killing salesman Warren Smale who was riding shotgun with him.
Demetro was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence of drugs, police said.
According to witnesses, Demetro was driving the Corvette at high speed and lost control before crashing into the tree.
KTLA TV interviewed several people who said they witnessed the crash and estimated the Corvette was going at least 70 mph on Mercedes Lane south of Councours Street, two blocks from the Carmax store.
About 50 CarMax employees came to the site of the crash – littered with broken glass and debris, with deep gouges remaining in the bark of the tree – to remember Smale Tuesday night, according to reports on CBS Los Angeles.
“He was a guy at work that it didn’t matter what kind of day you were having, he was there for you,” his longtime friend and coworker Lydia Garrett told the station. “He would make you laugh. He would make you smile. This test drive is something that we do. It’s a normal thing. So when I heard it, I had to come to pay my respects because had it been me, Warren would just be right here on the scene.”
Another co-worker, Artiee Guerrero described the crash as “surreal.”
“I didn’t believe it at first,” he told CBS Los Angeles. “He was an amazing, amazing person. He was like a father to all of us. That’s why we’re all here together. We’re all family.”
Witness Paul Ramon said the crash made him realize life is very fragile. “That guy had no idea today would be his last day when he showed up to work today.”
CarMax, naturally, was upset over the death of one of its employees, calling it “an incredibly sad day for the CarMax family.”
“Our hearts and prayers go out to our associate’s family. CarMax is working closely with the authorities on the investigation,” a statement for the company read.
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