Courtesy of the Hollister Police Department:
An off-duty Hollister Police Officer managed to stop a reckless driver who was driving at approximately 100 mph and almost hit several cars. The driver was cited and the vehicles towed.
On March 19, 2020, at approximately 6:10 pm., Officer Lupe Pompa was driving home in his personal vehicle after the end of his shift and traveling northbound on San Felipe Road. He was at the point where two lanes turn into one northbound lane when he noticed in his rearview mirror a black Chevy Camaro approaching at a high rate of speed. Officer Pompa estimated the speed of the approaching vehicle at around 100 mph and noticed the vehicle was not slowing; nor did it appear to be braking.
Officer Pompa quickly pulled his vehicle to the right and almost off the shoulder of the road to avoid a collision. At the same time, the driver of the Camaro veered to the left and over the double yellow line. In doing so, the Camaro temporarily lost control when the rear wheels lost traction and the car fishtailed as the driver struggled to regain control of the car.
Once the driver of the Camaro regained control, he accelerated very quickly away and continued northbound. Officer Pompa followed the car and prepared to call 911 to report the erratic driver. It was then that he noticed the traffic was stopped up ahead and the driver of the Camaro came very close to crashing into the rear end of another vehicle that was stopped at the red light.
Officer Pompa believed the driver was a danger to himself and everyone on the road. He didn’t know if the driver was intoxicated or was otherwise purposely endangering the public. Officer Pompa pulled up next to the driver, opened his window and showed the driver his Hollister Police Badge and motioned for the driver to pull over. However, when the light turned green the driver of the Camaro refused to stop for approximately a mile before finally pulling over.
The driver and the passenger were verbally defiant, challenging his authority and had to be told several times to stay in the car.
Officers arrived on scene and after the uncooperative driver and passenger were safely detained, the driver, Luis Gallegos-Valdez (21) of Hollister, was arrested for reckless driving and his vehicle was impounded. Gallegos-Valdez was released at the scene with a notice to appear in court.
Police are also seeking the driver of another vehicle that was passed by the Camaro just before the incident and are asking him/her to come forward as a witness.
The Hollister Police Department would like to remind everyone the public streets are to be shared and racing and reckless driving are serious offenses that can lead to injuries and death on our roadways. Please report reckless or dangerous driving by calling 911.