Man pleads not guilty to hit-and-run crash that killed Auburn cab driver

The Seattle TimesJuly 23, 2013 

A 29-year-old man pleaded not guilty Tuesday to vehicular homicide, hit and run and felony reckless endangerment in connection with the July 5 crash that killed a taxi driver in Auburn.

Floyd D. Gonzales of Auburn is accused of running a red light at high speed and slamming broadside into Brian Love’s cab, according to charging documents. Love, 56, died at the scene.

Two men who saw the end of the collision helped Gonzales out of his Chevrolet Tahoe and tried to help him to a curb to wait for officers, but Gonzales – who was bleeding profusely from his arm – took off running, charging papers say.

Gonzales’ girlfriend was trapped in the front passenger seat of the Tahoe and had to be cut from the vehicle, the papers say. She was taken to Auburn Regional Medical Center to be treated for unknown injuries and was later released, the papers say. 

She “declined to cooperate with police,” according to the charges.

Moments after the crash, Gonzales was arrested a few blocks from the crash scene. Police say he told officers he was fleeing from some men who were chasing the Tahoe after a drug deal went bad, according to the charges.

He smelled of intoxicants and at one point “became ill for a few moments and appeared to pass out,” the papers say.

Gonzales was released from the Olympic Corrections Center in Forks, Clallam County in October after serving an 11-year sentence for second-degree assault and first-degree kidnapping, crimes he committed as a juvenile, said Norah West, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Corrections. 

He spent a day in jail in December after going outside the jurisdictional boundaries of his community supervision, she said.

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