BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — After splitting with his girlfriend, Jose de Jesus Velazquez-Gomez was living out of a Jeep, getting fitful rest.
In fact, Velazquez-Gomez told officers, he hadn’t slept for two days when he drove early Nov. 3. That morning, his Jeep ran a stop sign at a Lamont intersection and hit another vehicle, killing three people, California Highway Patrol officers say.
“(Velazquez-Gomez) related he was alone in the Jeep and driving when he fell asleep” while traveling between 55 to 60 mph, according to his statement to CHP investigators contained in reports that became available Monday.
Charged with three counts of vehicular manslaughter, Velazquez-Gomez, 38, is due back in court Friday.
Velazquez-Gomez denied drinking alcohol or using drugs before the crash, according to the reports. Toxicology results are pending.
His ex-girlfriend, however, told officers they broke up over his suspected methamphetamine use. She said they had lived together about 18 months and she kicked him out after he repeatedly failed to get clean.
Early the morning of the crash, she said, Velazquez-Gomez broke into her apartment while hallucinating. She persuaded him to leave but he returned at 3:33 a.m. and didn’t drive away until she threatened to call police, she said in the reports.
Later, she heard he’d been involved in a deadly collision, the girlfriend told CHP.
Yolanda Godinez, 36, Darli Santiago, 28, and Gabina Santiago de Arias, 56, were declared dead at the scene after the vehicle they were in was hit at about 5:38 a.m. at the intersection of South Edison and Di Giorgio roads.
Velazquez-Gomez also has a case pending from misdemeanor DUI charges filed in 2016 and for which a warrant had been issued for his arrest. He has never held a California driver’s license, reports say.