Thursday, January 29, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Fatal hit-and-run probe reveals new information

Body of hit-and-run victim found along Peabody Road

CHP officers and the Solano County Sheriff-Coroners investigate the scene of a fatal hit-and-run Wednesday morning in Fairfield. The body of the victim was found a little ways up from Chuck Hammond Drive in a ditch along Peabody Road. (Conner Jay/Daily Republic)

By
From page A1 | December 21, 2012 |

FAIRFIELD — Details about the fatal hit-and-run accident on Peabody Road earlier this month are starting to surface, but many questions remain.

The investigation has been active since the Dec. 4 incident and involves three law enforcement agencies in two cities.

No case has been filed with the District Attorney’s Office, but at least one search warrant was reviewed by that office Thursday, according to Deputy District Attorney Mary Nguyen.

At the time of the accident, the California Highway Patrol released little information other than that a man was struck and killed late Dec. 4 while walking along Peabody Road. His body was found early Dec. 5. A 23-year-old was taken into custody in Vacaville later that day.

After talking to investigators and reviewing reports, the Daily Republic has learned more of what happened.

Man down

The body of 28-year-old Moses Sala sat undetected on the side of the road while Fairfield police worked what it thought was a simple vehicle accident.

For nearly nine hours, Sala’s body was in the weeds and brush along Peabody Road in the rural open space between Fairfield and Vacaville.

During that time, Fairfield police responded just before midnight to a call of a disabled vehicle and found a damaged 2012 Chevy truck. The suspected driver, Alex Perez Jr., was not at the scene, according to reports. According to a Fairfield police accident report, the OnStar operator was told by the driver he was not injured, but further communication was cut off.

Fairfield officers then contacted Vacaville police, who paid a visit to the truck’s owner, later identified as the uncle of Perez. Perez reportedly told the Vacaville officer he had hit something, but he didn’t know what it was, said CHP Officer Darren Carrington.

Officers back at the scene searched the area and found nothing in the rain and darkness. Sala’s body was thrown during impact and ended up 400 to 500 feet from where the truck came to rest, Carrington said. A press release at the time reported his body was 30 feet from the road.

Lt. Greg Hurlbut with Fairfield police said officers searched the area and the best guess was that an animal was hit, given the remote area where pedestrians are rarely seen.

“The vehicle had damage. They looked around and didn’t see another vehicle. They made some efforts, but couldn’t figure out what was hit,” Hurlbut said. “Never for a moment did they think he could have hit a person.”

At some point, a member of the family returned and the vehicle was towed to the house of Perez’s uncle, Carrington said.

Hurlbut said he didn’t want to second-guess the officers at the scene, but did question the towing of the vehicle to the home.

“I wouldn’t say that’s the recommended action,” Hurlbut said. “I would hope we would be a little more thorough in the future.”

The scene was soon cleared and Sala’s body remained.

Morning after

Sala was first seen later that morning by a passing motorist who reported a body in the brush next to the road. He was pronounced dead at 8:46 a.m. and the CHP was notified shortly afterward, as they are the lead agency for areas not covered by local police.

It took investigators about two hours before they were at the house where the vehicle had been towed. Perez was arrested. CHP Sgt. Jeff Page said Perez was given a test for his blood alcohol level at the time of his arrest, but could not confirm if one was done during the initial contact with Vacaville police.

Calls Thursday to the Vacaville officer in charge on Dec. 5 were not returned.

It will take two weeks for an autopsy report, according to the Solano County Coroner’s Office. That report may shed some light on the exact cause and time of death.

Hurlbut said it was “more than likely” that Sala was killed on impact.

Family first

It was an unusual set of circumstances that put Sala on Peabody Road that night.

Earlier in the evening of Dec. 4, he was visiting family in Vacaville. On the way home to Fairfield, he was involved in a car accident on Interstate 80. With his vehicle damaged, he was given a ride to his home in a neighborhood near where he was killed.

His mother, Charmaine Killsright, said Sala soon realized he had his father’s medication. His dad is paralyzed and needed medication at certain times. With no vehicle, Sala set off on foot to deliver the meds to Vacaville, she said.

“He takes care of his dad. This is what kind of caregiver he is. We think it started drizzling and he turned around,” Killsright said. “He used to run on that road. It wasn’t like he didn’t know that road.”

Sala was a father of a 7-year-old son, with a daughter on the way to be born in March. He recently received a criminal justice degree and was weighing his options between corrections, law enforcement and possibly the military, Killsright said.

“He had so many options ahead of him,” she said. “There’s never going to be another Moses in this world. It’s hard to fathom my son is never going to come through the door and ask, ‘What’s for dinner.’ ”

Killswright said she wants to know why the driver left the scene and how he didn’t know what he hit.

“There’s no way he hit my son and didn’t know it. He knew who he hit. His report doesn’t make any sense,” she said. “Why didn’t he stay with the vehicle? Only he knows. My son can’t say anything.”

Reach Danny Bernardini at 427-6935 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/dbernardinidr.

Danny Bernardini

Danny Bernardini

Danny is a newspaper man born and raised in Vacaville. He attended Chico State University and has written for the Enterprise Record and the Reporter. Covers the City of Fairfield, education and crime. A's, Warriors and Saints fan. Listener of vinyl, frequent visitor to the East Bay. Registered "decline to state" voter. Loves a good steak.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 10 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Cheyenne SalaDecember 21, 2012 - 6:27 am

    Thank you Danny for shedding some more light about my brother Moses. It means so much to me and my family. Whatever the case maybe this guy Alex Perez just made the police look absolutely stupid. How could you not know what you hit??? Why would you leave the scene?? Why would you leave your car?? All of these questions are coming out because we as a family want answers.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • alanDecember 22, 2012 - 5:19 am

    You really hit the mark with your comments and I want to add my condolences to the family and my thanks to Danny. Here are my questions: If you have a valid license, a legally registered vehicle and you are sober, what would your actions be if you hit something along a road on a dark, rainy night? Leave the scene or stop and call the authorities? If you thought you had hit an animal which caused so much damage that your vehicle required a tow, would you leave the scene or try to get a police report to help with the insurance paperwork? Would you not try to determine if the animal was dead or needed assistance? If you were a policeman investigating why someone left their crashed vehicle in the middle of Peabody Road, late at night, and that person indicated he had hit anything and left the scene, would you require that person to submit to an alcohol test at that point, or just say, "ok, thanks for the info, have a nice night"? It appears that VVPD chose the latter. Based on what has been reported, it appears this "investigation", using the term lightly, was botched by the Fairfield PD, Vacaville PD and the CHP. No one likes working in the rain at night, but this is unacceptable. I don't mean to sound callous, but I sincerely hope the autopsy report indicates Mr. Sala was killed on impact. Every other scenario would mean suffering along the road while Mr. Perez and the investigating police went on with their lives. I hope justice is served for the family's sake, but it does appear Mr. Perez made all police involved look stupid.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Cheyenne SalaDecember 22, 2012 - 4:16 pm

    Thank you so much. We're hoping he was killed on impact because that is what breaks our families heart til this very day, knowing he was left laying in the rain all night .

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • GemmaDecember 21, 2012 - 8:49 am

    I'll NEVER understand how this case could be so bungled, so quickly.So a passing motorist could see 400-500 FEET OFF THE ROADWAY,WHILE DRIVING, BUT THE CHP ON FOOT couldn't locate anything???? I drive that road 4 times a day, and I can't see down the embankment 400-500 ft. Honestly, I read some kind of dispatch form when this happened, I read NOTHING about a motorist seeing the body,BUT I did read where dispatch informed officers at the scene that there was a Traffic Collision there the night before, and they would forward the incident report. It was AFTER that info that "the motorist supposedly saw the body!" I think the CHP does NOT want to admit that that poor man was outside in the rain all night, while they cleared the scene and went home.It's obvious they did NOT do a thorough search. It shouldn't matter if it was rain,snow,hail or sleet, they should have done a FULL investigation AT THE SCENE! At the very least, Perez left the scene of an accident. WHY wasn't he arrested during the night,when CHP went to the accident site, and he was NOT THERE?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • just a readerDecember 21, 2012 - 9:34 am

    Gemma, did you read the article? Moses was found 30 feet from the road, not 400 to 500 feet. The truck stopped 400 to 500 feet from where Moses was hit. That's why officers didn't see his body, they were looking 400 to 500 feet away from him. At night and in the rain. There is little light on that section of Peabody at night. I don't see any bungling based on the police report. Only the part about the driver not knowing what he hit. Pretty hard to not know you hit a human being. Towing the vehicle when there was no reason to not clear the road isn't a mystery either. At the time, Moses' body was 500 feet away from where the investigation was taking place. You work with what you have at the time.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • BlackfootDecember 21, 2012 - 2:58 pm

    Sorry to say but I disagree with the first part of your comment and this is why, they should have been searching in both directions not just one and on both sides of the road. Sounds like a DWI to me?? My heart and soul goes out to his entire family.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • TomDecember 21, 2012 - 12:58 pm

    Hurlbut has never been able to take responsibility for anything. He has never been able to investigate his way out of a paper bag. Our Lt. is a county wide joke.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Gold Ridge ResidentDecember 21, 2012 - 2:48 pm

    People like me read these stories sometimes and forget that this is real life. We assume that both parties involved were up to no good. This is not the case. Devastating story for the victim and family. So sad that something like this happened to someone who has a family who loves him so much. My family will be thinking about the victim and the victims family during the holidays.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • RGTDecember 21, 2012 - 3:16 pm

    @tom-He had a good teacher in his old man. Dude was outrageously off the hook and terrorized city personnel.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • MvpDecember 21, 2012 - 7:52 pm

    I knew Moe. He was hella outgoing an was a great father to his son. I didn't kno him all that well but I use to catch up wit him at the senior apartments where his father resides. He was always helpin folks with their groceries, and was an all around good guy. He meant no harm to anyone. Last convo I had wit him he told me he waz expectin a baby girl in March an he was very excited. Hopefully justice will be served for him an his families pain. Rip Moe u are missed my brotha

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

 
1st release for birds with mysterious goo a success

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Council backs beer, wine sales for Vacaville store

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

 
Vacaville police seek help to find sex offender

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Sweep by sheriff’s team nets 4 arrests

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3, 2 Comments

 
Travis starts work on Functional Fitness Center

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

 
Boy Scouts to screen award-winning film

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

 
Church makes ready for health, wellness fair

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
4-H Annual Presentation Day returns in February

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Vacaville SWAT team serves search warrant

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3

 
Real estate occupancy continues to climb

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3

 
Lights out for proposed electronic sign in Vacaville

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

Fairfield police log: Jan. 27, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
Suisun City police log: Jan. 27, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

.

US / World

Poll: High approval for Gov. Jerry Brown, support for budget

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Air Force probing alleged ‘treason’ remark by general

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Expect tiny tuxes but no real puppy love at doggy weddings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Large salmon release planned

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Violations mount for toxic recycler

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Quake rattles N. California coast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Second arrest in student stabbing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Marshals track down missing treasure hunter

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

‘Drunk’ excuse falls flat in Vandy rape trial

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Attorney General nominee defends Obama immigration changes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

Police seek law to alter Google app

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Euro coast guards scramble to locate Syrian ghost ship

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Chinese regulators go after online sale of fake goods

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Investigation stems from police-involved shooting outbreak

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Hezbollah missiles kill soldiers

By New York Times | From Page: A6

 
ISIS extends hostage deadline

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Tape: Scientist offers to build nuke bomb targeting New York

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
.

Opinion

 
Editorial Cartoon: Jan. 29, 2015

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Just be honest and come forward

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7

 
A truly misinformed writer

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7, 5 Comments

India now has 322 billion reasons to fix economy

By William Pesek | From Page: A7

 
Don’t brush off bullying

By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A7

.

Living

Today in History: Jan. 29, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Jan. 29, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Deadbeat boyfriend ruined my relationship with my granddaughter

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

 
Horoscope Jan. 29, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Theater legend Joel Grey reveals that he is gay

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Super Bowl advertisers aim not to offend

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
.

Sports

Kings center DeMarcus Cousins hoping to make All-Star team

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Rodriguez wrestlers pull out 34-24 win over Wood

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Solano men cruise past LMC for biggest win of season

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

NFL players who started young show more thinking problems

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
GM John Schneider has been architect of Seahawks’ success

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Patriots not dwelling on last Super Bowl loss in Arizona

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Woods returns to Phoenix with plenty of memories

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Tony Stewart acquires national sprint car series tour

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Kobe Bryant has surgery, expected to be out for 9 months

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Korda, Lewis, Munoz tied for lead at LPGA season opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Head of NCAA enforcement: Academic misconduct on rise

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Chicago Cubs’ Ernie Banks statue moved downtown for tribute

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
This date in sports history for Jan. 29, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

Joseph Phillip Raiff

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Dzhon Athanc

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 

Parse error: syntax error, unexpected '<<' (T_SL) in /www/newspaperfoundation.org/html/wp-content/themes/broadsheet/footer.php on line 101