Neighbors on suspect accused in deadly DUI: 'He wanted to be selfish'


Police say a suspected drunk driver ran a red light in the east valley and took the life of a 59-year-old man.

Friends of the victim say he was a great neighbor who cared for everyone he met.

Ed Casillas knew the victim. He reflected on the neighbor whom everyone knew and admired.

"He said 'hi' to everyone in the neighborhood. He was really friendly. It's just so strange," Casillas said.

Police say on Monday morning, Menendez died after a suspected DUI driver ran a light at Mt. Hood and Lake Mead.

RELATED | 1 killed, 1 arrested in crash at Lake Mead, Mt. Hood in northeast valley

The crash happened less than a mile from Menendez's home. Casillas said it's a shame a suspected DUI driver took away a great neighbor.

"He took a really good life because he wanted to be selfish. He could have called somebody to pick him up."

Police identified the suspected DUI driver as 32-year-old Alberto Banuelos. Officers say Banuelos left the scene of the crash but later called 911. Police found Banuelos and arrested him at another location.

Erica Pittet remembers seeing Menendez every day as she went to her mailbox.

"He was very kind and sweet and he was an outgoing person. I would see him every day and he would say 'hi' to me," said Pittet.

Menendez's friends say he worked at a casino as a maintenance man and was coming back home from his morning run. Pittet says it's scary to think it could have been anyone hit by a red light runner.

"It makes me very frustrated like I think about it everyday what if I'm driving with my son and someone hits me for being irresponsible."

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