Buchanan High School wrestling coach facing felony DUI charges

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Buchanan High School wrestling coach faces felony DUI charges after two women were injured in a crash, investigators say he caused.

Witnesses captured the moments Gabe Flores was given a series of field sobriety tests on the side of Shepherd Avenue near Minnewawa.

CHP officers say Flores was at fault when he slammed into the back of an SUV while heading westbound Friday night around 10.

"What we do know is Mr. Flores did approach that vehicle," says Mike Salas with CHP. "He was unable to stop at the time and did rear-end it, causing significant damage to both vehicles there at the scene."

Officers have estimated his speed to be between 40 to 50 miles an hour when the cars collided. He was arrested on charges of driving while drunk and causing injury, which is a felony.

According to the victim's family members, they were headed to dinner when they were hit by Flores. Lisa Vivian was meeting her daughter and daughter in law at a restaurant when she got a heart-dropping call.

"Just as I'm pulling into the parking lot to the restaurant, I get a call from a number I don't know and he said, 'Are you Lisa, Rebecca's mom?' And it was a Good Samaritan and he said, 'She wants you to know she's ok, but she was in an accident.'"

She also says Flores is her grandson's wrestling coach.

"I would hope that Clovis Unified would do both the right thing and the ethical thing and not have this man back until he's dealt with this problem," she said.O

Rebecca Campbell and her passenger suffered concussions and were treated at the hospital. The SUV they were in took out shrubs in the center median, struck a tree and came to rest in the oncoming lane.

Part of the investigation will be learning more about where Flores was coming from before the crash and what he was drinking. Action News has learned his blood alcohol content at the scene was about twice the legal limit.

Criminal defense attorney Jonathan Rooker says if Flores takes action now to seek help or rehabilitation, it could reduce his punishment. But his arrest will likely follow him for a while.

"It's hard for a person who's been put on the news, convicted of a felony to try to go forward with their life as if it didn't happen, even if the immediate consequences and prison sentence have been served," he said.

Clovis Unified officials say they are also investigating the incident, and Flores was not at work Monday.
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