The family of a 23-year-old man killed in a crash on Highway 80 in San Pablo over the weekend is asking for witnesses to come forward.
The Contra Costa County Coroner’s Office has identified the victim as Antonio Urtiz, 23, of San Pablo.
According to the California Highway Patrol, Urtiz was a passenger who died after being trapped in a burning car that crashed on westbound Interstate Highway 80 at San Pablo Dam Road. The CHP responded to the solo crash 12:31 a.m. and found a Ford Expedition fully engulfed in flames.
“The driver managed to escape the vehicle fire with only minor injuries, but the passenger was unable to exit and sustained fatal injuries,” the CHP said. “Our preliminary investigation indicates the driver was traveling on I-80 westbound, under San Pablo Dam Road, when he made a sudden turning movement in attempt to avoid a small animal in the roadway. His vehicle lost control, collided into a concrete abutment on the right shoulder, and caught flame.”
The CHP said drugs and alcohol do not appear to be factors in the collision.
Urtiz’s family is requesting more information, believing foul play could be involved. In a video post shared to the Facebook community group, Everybody’s Richmond, a woman who identified herself as Urtiz’s cousin pleaded with witnesses at the scene to come forward with any information that could help answer their many questions on what happened.
“We’ve gotten multiple stories and a lot of people reaching out, but we need witnesses that were actually there and that saw it,” the family member states in the video. “We know that there were people directing traffic, we know there were people trying to help. We believe there has been foul play in this accident. We need answers, we have so many questions.”
The family is encouraging witnesses to contact (510) 890-5678.