Car dealerships deal with different type of customers and it is not common to deal with a customer who is under the influence of drugs. Unfortunately, a CarMax in Ontario failed to realize that one of their customers was under the influence while test driving a Corvette.
An Ontario CarMax employee, Warrren Dennis Smale, was fatally injured during a test drive with a customer this past Tuesday. The customer, 28-year old Alex Mark Demetro, was under the influence of drugs when he was test driving a Corvette.
Witnesses stated that the driver, Demetro, was driving at high speeds when he lost control of the Corvette and crashed into a tree. Smale was in critical condition as he was being transported to a local hospital. He was transported to San Antonio Community Hospital where he passed away due to his injuries.
CarMax released a statement later that evening stating, "Today is an incredibly sad day for the CarMax family. Our hearts and prayers go out to our associate’s family". Coworkers gathered for a vigil for Smale at the location of the accident.
It is unknown if Demetro was showing signs of intoxication before the test drive. He is currently being held at San Bernardino County Jail. He is expected to be charged with vehicular manslaughter and a felony for driving under the influence of drugs.
It is unusual to deal with customers under the influence at a car dealership. Dealerships typically do not have a protocol on how to deal with these situations. Although these situations are uncommon, employees should be trained to identify customers who might be impaired to drive due to the influence of alcohol or drugs. Companies should invest in training programs that help avoid tragedies like the one experienced at CarMax this past week.