Dead body found in Paso Robles identified as man who allegedly caused fatal crash

Pedro Alvarado-Torres

The California Highway Patrol has identified the man who was found dead in the Salinas Riverbed in Paso Robles Thursday morning as Pedro Alvarado-Torres, 40, the hit-and-run suspect who allegedly caused a crash that led to the death of a Cal Poly employee earlier this week.

At about 1:51 a.m. on Monday, Alvarado-Torres was driving a Mazda Tribute the wrong way on northbound Highway 101 in Paso Robles. He crashed his SUV into a sedan, injuring an Atascadero woman, and then immediately fled the scene by foot, according to the CHP.

Shortly after the crash, two Good Samaritans stopped their vehicles to provide help. As Monica Cantu, 55, and Raul Gomez, 49, were standing outside their vehicles, debris from the collision tore a tire of a passing van. The van struck Cantu and Gomez, killing Cantu and leaving Gomez hospitalized with major injuries.

Cantu had served as Cal Poly’s senior facilities custodial manager. She had been employed by the university since Dec. 2012, and in 2017, Cantu received the annual outstanding staff award from Cal Poly.

Monica Cantu

On Thursday morning, a witness called Paso Robles police and reported finding a dead body around the southern edge of the city. The witness led officers through thick brush to where the man’s body was lying, according to the Paso Robles Police Department.

CHP officials later identified the man as Alvarado-Torres. The San Luis Obispo County coroner is now investigating Alvarado-Torres’s cause of death.

An investigation into Monday’s crash also remains ongoing.