Fresno man faces judge in fatal DUI collision trial

A Fresno man accused in an alcohol-related fatal collision from two years ago was back in court on Thursday.

Jose Montano faced a judge as his pre-trial hearing got underway.

Montano does have at least one previous DUI conviction.

Some members of the victim's family were also in court on Thursday as the defendant is facing felony DUI charges in the death of the Kerman father.

Montano listened from the defendant seat as multiple arriving officers testified against him.

Fresno Police say the 33-year-old was drunk during the early morning hours of August 2017 when the Chevy Avalanche pickup he was driving crashed head-on into a Honda Accord at Jensen and Chateau Fresno Avenue, killing the driver, 59-year old Andres Garza.

"First I detected odor or alcohol omitting from this person. He appeared to be impaired from alcohol," said Michael Walker of the California Highway Patrol.

Montano was arrested on suspicion of vehicular homicide and felony DUI.

Officers say he then became argumentative with them and refused to take a field sobriety test.

"Agitated...upset...upset towards the police department or officers believing that maybe we were framing him or changing the accident to make it look like he was at fault," said Brian Phelps of the Fresno Police Department.

According to officers, Montano told them he had drank the night before and was not drunk at the time of the collision.

But he became emotional when he learned the driver of the Honda Accord had died.

"Talking with the defendant, he was saying that the police were corrupt and we were bending the rules to make it look like he was at fault. Once he realized there was a person who perished in this accident, he became emotional and began to cry," Phelps said.

The two sides were hoping to wrap up the pre-trial on Thursday but it appears it may go into next week.
Related topics:
fresnodui crashcrash
Copyright © 2019 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.