Steve Morales, 26, of Newman, was cited for hit-and-run and other vehicle code violations early Sunday after he crashed his Nissan Altima and fled the scene with his seven-year-old son.
Ceres Police was dispatched at 12:43 a.m. to the crash on Morgan Road at Hackett Road where an unoccupied Nissan was on fire. A witness told police that a female and young male fled the scene. Officers checked the area but did not locate anyone.
At about 5 a.m. Memorial Medical Center called and said they had Morales as a patient who said he was in a vehicle crash and made statements that did not make sense. It turned out that Morales was the registered owner of the Nissan Altima. Officer Alexis Ochoa went to the hospital to interview Morales who admitted driving the car southbound on Morgan Road when he lost control and crashed. He was unable to explain how the crash happened other than to say he fell asleep or blacked out.
Morales told police he saw his vehicle catch fire and grabbed his son from the back seat and left the scene on foot southbound. Morales said his parents picked up his son and he then went to his ex-girlfriend's house in the area near Whitmore Avenue. Morales said he went around the scene of the accident to avoid making contact with first-responders. Morales said his ex-girlfriend transported him to the hospital.
Morales was arrested without incident. Due to him needing medical treatment he was cited for hit and run and other vehicle code violations.