A 29-year-old Auburn man who was released from prison eight months ago was charged Wednesday with vehicular homicide, hit and run and felony reckless endangerment in connection with the Friday crash that killed a taxi driver in Auburn.
Floyd Gonzales was ordered held in lieu of $1 million bail, but jail records show he is being held without bail for violating terms of his community supervision.
Brian Love, a 56-year-old driver for Tim’s Taxis in Auburn, was killed when Gonzales allegedly ran a red light at high speed and slammed broadside into Love’s cab, according to charging documents.
An Auburn police officer was stopped at a red light at East Main Street and Auburn Way just before 6 a.m. Friday and noticed a red cab waiting for the light directly behind his patrol car, charging papers say. When the light changed, the officer drove east through the intersection — and in his peripheral vision, saw a white Chevy Tahoe speeding in his direction, the papers say.
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The officer looked over his left shoulder and watched as the Tahoe ran a red light at 50 to 60 mph and crashed into the driver’s door of the taxi, according to charging papers. The impact of the collision killed Love instantly and caused the Tahoe to flip onto its roof, the papers say.
Two men who witnessed the end of the collision helped Gonzales out of the Tahoe and tried to help him to a curb to wait for officers, but Gonzales — who was bleeding profusely from his arm — took off running, charging papers say.
Gonzales’ girlfriend was trapped in the front passenger seat of the Tahoe and had to be cut from the vehicle, the papers say. She was taken to Auburn Regional Medical Center to be treated for unknown injuries and was released later Friday, the papers say.
The girlfriend “declined to cooperate with police,” according to the charges.
The girlfriend’s brother was apparently also in the vehicle but the charging documents don’t mention whether he was questioned or taken to the hospital.
Moments after the crash, Gonzales was arrested a few blocks from the scene and police say he told officers he was fleeing “some black guys” who were chasing the Tahoe after a drug deal went bad, according to the charges. He smelled of intoxicants and at one point “became ill for a few moments and appeared to pass out,” the papers say.
Gonzales was also treated at the Auburn hospital, where his blood was drawn approximately two hours after the collision, charging papers say. The results of blood-alcohol tests are pending from the State Patrol Crime Lab, according to the papers.
Gonzales was released from the Olympic Corrections Center in Forks, Clallam County in October after serving an 11-year sentence for second-degree assault and first-degree kidnapping, crimes he committed as a juvenile, said Norah West, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Corrections. He spent a day in jail in December after going outside the jurisdictional boundaries of his community supervision, she said.
Information from Times archives
is included in this report.
Sara Jean Green: 206-515-5654.