Fatal DUI crash causes car to catch on fire in Contra Costa County

Bay Area
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A fatal DUI accident causes a car to catch on fire in Contra Costa County early Sunday morning.

Around 1:21 a.m. California Highway Patrol was notified of the crash that was blocking California State Route 24, just west of I-680.

Police say a 2003 orange Nissan Z sedan was originally blocking the road when a 2018 blue Chevrolet Volt collided with it. 

When CHP arrived, the Nissan was engulfed in flames with the unidentified driver trapped inside. 

Police say the driver died after not being able to escape. 

The driver of the Chevrolet is identified at 68-year-old Dennis Toshimi Tajiri from Concord.

Officials say the driver of the Nissan appeared to be heading eastbound SR-24 when it crashed blocking traffic. 

This is when police say Tajiri collided into the Nissan and stopped at a center divider where he stayed until CHP arrived. 

Tajiri was taken to John Muir Hospital in Walnut Creek with minor injuries.

While at the hospital, CHP conducted a DUI investigation and arrested Tajiri for felony DUI. 

Tajiri has been booked at the Martinez Detention Facility for felony DUI and gross vehicular manslaughter. 

The crash remains under investigation. 



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