San Jose

Man Arrested After Fatal Crash Involving Ride-Hailing Vehicle in Santa Clara

Woman who died in the crash was a UC Berkeley graduate and worked at Apple

Police in Santa Clara arrested a 32-year-old man early Sunday morning following a collision on Lawrence Expressway that left a 28-year-old woman dead.

Police responded to the scene of the crash at the intersection of Poinciana Drive shortly after 1:20 a.m. Sunday to find the suspect, Claudio Perez, in a stolen vehicle and three victims in a ride-hailing service vehicle.

Sunnyvale PD
Suspect Claudio Perez and victim Carol Major.

At about 11:45 p.m. Saturday, Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety officers found the green Honda Accord, which had been reported stolen in San Jose on Aug. 17.

The officers established surveillance on the vehicle in the parking lot of a business in the 900 block of Duane Avenue in Sunnyvale and placed a tire deflation device under its tire, police said.

At about 1:15 a.m. Sunday, officers saw a man getting into the Honda and moved in to attempt a traffic stop, but the driver allegedly refused to yield and drove recklessly through the parking lot, then fled east on Duane Avenue.

Perez later crashed into the ride-hailing vehicle after running the red light at the intersection of Poinciana Drive and Lawrence Expressway, police said.

The two passengers in the ride-hailing vehicle, a 28-year-old Santa Clara woman and a 26-year-old Sunnyvale man, were hospitalized with life-threatening injuries. The woman, identified as Carol Major, later died at a hospital due to her injuries, while the male passenger was in critical condition.

A Facebook page shows Major was from San Diego, attended UC Berkeley and was a technical programmer for Apple.

The driver of the ride-hailing vehicle, a 28-year-old Santa Clara man, is also being treated at a hospital.

Perez was arrested at the scene and, after receiving treatment for minor injuries, was booked into Santa Clara County Jail on suspicion of murder, auto theft, driving under the influence while causing an injury, and a probation violation.

Anyone who may have witnessed the crash is asked to contact Traffic Investigator Nick Cusimano at (408) 615-4764.

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