Crime - Sacto 911

Suspect surrenders after deadly three-car crash in Sacramento

Police booked Rodney Thurman into county jail Monday on charges of felony hit-and-run and vehicular manslaughter.
Police booked Rodney Thurman into county jail Monday on charges of felony hit-and-run and vehicular manslaughter. Sacramento Police Department

A man wanted in a fatal hit-and-run car crash early Monday on Highway 99 in Sacramento surrendered to authorities hours later.

The California Highway Patrol said Rodney Thurman surrendered at 12:45 p.m. to CHP officers and officials with the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office in a pre-arranged meeting at the DA’s office in downtown Sacramento.

CHP Officer Michael Bradley said Thurman was booked into county jail on charges of felony hit-and-run and vehicular manslaughter. It wasn’t known if Thurman had yet retained a lawyer, Bradley said.

The crash occurred on Thurman’s 39th birthday. He was being held on $130,000 bail, according to jail records, and has an initial appearance scheduled for Wednesday in Sacramento Superior Court.

Bradley said Thurman somehow contacted authorities and arranged to surrender, although details weren’t clear.

Bradley said a BMW sport-utility vehicle driven by Thurman sideswiped a Buick sedan as both vehicles traveled south on Highway 99, just north of the 12th Avenue off-ramp, at around 12:45 a.m. The collision sent the Buick out of control, Bradley said.

An 18-year-old woman in the Buick was pronounced dead at the scene, he said. Another woman suffered major injuries. Both were in the back seat, the officer said. Two men in the front seat were not injured. The four were on a double date coming back from a movie.

The collision sent the Buick crashing into a guard rail on the right shoulder and then careening back onto the highway, where it smashed into a two-door Nissan and overturned. There were no injuries to the occupants of the Nissan.

Thurman swerved onto the 12th Avenue off-ramp, stopped, leaped out his BMW and took off on foot toward Oak Park. A female passenger with him suffered minor injuries and was taken to a hospital for observation.

The Sacramento County coroner’s office identified the victim as Megan Hernandez.

Four lanes of Highway 99 were blocked until 4:30 am, as authorities investigated the crash and cleaned up debris, Bradley said. He said at mid-morning that CHP officers were still at the scene re-creating the incident.

Denny Walsh: 916-321-1189