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Gilroy Police arrested a man Wednesday they believe was behind the wheel of a car that hit and killed a man who was walking in a crosswalk on Broadway on the morning of Dec. 6, 2020.

Police arrested 38-year-old Jose Elias Zuniga, of Gilroy, on suspicion of several offenses, including vehicular manslaughter, hit-and-run causing death, driving while his license was suspended for driving under the influence and for failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

Gilroy Police credit an alert sergeant from the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office, who lives in Gilroy, with helping solve the case.

In a news release issued Wednesday, Gilroy police said the sergeant was aware of the incident and saw a vehicle matching the description in San Jose on Dec. 7. Deputies and officers from Gilroy responded to the scene and interviewed the people in the vehicle and took the vehicle to the Santa Clara County Crime Lab.

Elias Zuniga

During the next several months, Gilroy police said investigators authored numerous search warrants, conducted additional interviews, collected and analyzed surveillance video and conducted a vehicle inspection. The Santa Clara County Crime Lab obtained evidence from the suspect’s vehicle and all the information was analyzed by the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office and a warrant was obtained to arrest Zuniga.

Killed in the Dec. 6 collision was Victoriano Montoya Llamas, 48, of Gilroy, according to the Santa Clara County Coroner’s Office. Investigators determined the victim had left home to go for a walk and as he crossed Broadway walking southbound in the unpainted crosswalk, Zuniga struck the victim from behind and did not stop to render aid. 

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