Coroner ID’s Man Killed in South Bakersfield Crash

The Kern County Coroner’s Office has released the name of a man killed in a suspected drunk-driving crash in south Bakersfield.

David Cortez, 39, of Wasco, was driving a Toyota Camry when officials say he was hit by a BMW driven by Christian Valencia, 25, of Arvin at the intersection of White Lane and Hughes Lane at around 12:30 a.m. Friday, May 13, 2022.

Officers say they spotted Valencia recklessly driving the BMW minutes before the accident in the area of South H Street and Planz Road, but lost sight of it.  They say they found Valencia a short time later after his car reportedly collided with Cortez’s vehicle.

Cortez was pronounced dead at the scene. Valencia suffered moderate injuries and was taken to the hospital for treatment.

Authorities say an investigation into the crash determined Valencia was under the influence of alcohol and a suspected controlled substance. He was arrested for DUI and vehicular homicide.

-Jeff Lemucchi