Sat. Jun 15th, 2024

On Friday March 12, 2021, at 2:12 AM, a Garden Grove police officer observed a Dodge Ram truck driving at a high rate of speed through the parking lot of the Resort area. The truck exited the parking lot onto Chapman Ave, where it continued going at a high rate of speed.

The officer activated his red lights and siren in an attempt to catch the truck as it traveled westbound on Chapman Ave.

The truck continued going at a high rate of speed when it was involved in a traffic collision with another passenger vehicle at the intersection of Euclid St and Orangewood Ave.

As a result of the collision, the truck hit a block wall and came to rest upside down in a residential swimming pool. The Orange County Fire Authority responded to render aid. The driver of the truck was pronounced deceased at the scene. The driver of the passenger vehicle was transported to a local hospital, where he was later pronounced deceased.

At approximately 11:30 AM that same day, the truck was removed from the swimming pool and a male passenger was also found deceased inside.

All parties have been positively identified and their next of kin have been notified. The decedents in the Dodge Ram 1500 pickup truck are as follows:

  • Joseph Mendoza (24 y/o), LKA: Paramount
  • Sal Fernandez (34 y/o), LKA: Reseda

CAFernandez was currently on Parole and Mendoza was on Post Release Community Supervision (PRCS) out of Los Angeles County, and they both had extensive criminal histories.

After the truck was removed from the pool, a catalytic converter, power saw, and power saw charger were located inside the truck. A loaded handgun was also located.

Michael Clugston is seen in an undated photo provided by his family.

Family identified the other driver killed in the crash as Michael Clugston, a 39-year-old Anaheim resident. His wife told KTLA he was on his way to work to pick up overtime hours because she recently lost her job.

GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help raise funds for Clugston’s funeral.



By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

13 thoughts on “Two men killed in Garden Grove crash were apparently catalytic converter thieves with criminal records”
  1. Our catalytic converters are safe with the deaths of the thieves. They have now been retired.

    1. The comments here are so mean. The crimes were because there are not enough decent paying jobs. Nobody deserves to die or go to hell for simply not having enough. Hell is made for the disobediant angels not humans. I hope they find the mercy of Jesus like the theif did on the cross near Jesus. Where Jesus said (Luke 23:43} “Truely I tell you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” Repentace is the difference. Repent and accept Jesus as you Savior and follow His Way.

      1. @Tamsey.. You may have said that because you have not experienced the hardship I had to get the stolen cat converter replaced. Until now I am paying for the debt instead of getting that money to buy food.

        There are many decent paying jobs but this thief has chosen to take advantage of vulnerable people who does not have proper garages. I hope you feel the same kindness when his kind robs your church.

        By the way, where is your lord when your priest abused thousands of children. I hope you give them same repentance when one of your family suffers. I am not wishing you a bad luck but hope that same fantasy book you read does not consume you much.

      2. Michael Clugston also does not deserves to die when he is driving his truck to work to get some food for his family.

        My wish still stays, I hope the thieves burns eternally and same for all his kind..

  2. @Anonymiss…. He / She who is without sin may cast the first stone. Enjoy your conversation with God when your day comes. REGARDLESS of anyone’s thoughts / opinions ALL parties involved in this tragic incident are children of God. They have paid the price of their mistakes and are square. Have some respect and decency. My name is Marc Fernandez the brother of Sal Fernandez, I’ll be the first to admit that he wasn’t perfect but he was ALWAYS there when he was needed. If given the opportunity to have gotten to know Sal you’d consider it an honor and privilege because you’d have someone who was solid. My thoughts and prayers go out to all involved, I hope that God comforts you and your souls.

    1. @Marc Fernandez.. I hope he burns in hell if there is hell and I hope he gets punished in eternity by God if there is God.

      What you’re brother has done to take advantage of people is not worth of respect and I might be one of them where I had a very hard time looking for money to replace what was stolen from me and get food to my family. I hope he dies a thousand times but if not he won’t find peace in eternity.

      I wish that all of his kind meet the same.

    2. Marc Fernandez, my guess you are a thief too and runs in your family.

      Your brother did not deserves what he got because it should die a 100 more or multiply the number of people he stole from.

      Family of thieves

  3. @Marc Fernansez

    I hope your brother burns in hell if there is one and God put him to multiple death if he exists.

    If you’re asking for respect and decency, you should have asked your brother when he is alive.

    You might have not known of the hardship I had when my Cat Converted was stolen. That is a lost wage from my work and stress to find a way to get if fixed. In addition to thinking where to find food for my family.

    How can they be in square when they also killed another father or son in their escape. He is a coward and your God may not find your brother comfort and forgiveness

    I am glad that I did not have the opportunity to meet your brother as I won’t consider an honor and privilege meeting a thief who took advantage of people.

    I hope his spirit won’t rest in eternity and forever be in limbo.

  4. All you fools talking shit say what you think in someone’s face, you are the cowards writing shit from the safety of your home

    1. Wonder who paid for the clean up and damage to the yard, heard they refuse the family to get some stuff off the truck, two dead Thieves saved lots of tax dollars

    2. Tell me your address and I’ll come to your home. You are the one commenting anonymously. My biggest guess is that you are also thief

    3. So the thief who stole from someone and tried to run is not coward? He is dead how can we tell it to his face shit head who is also hiding from the safety of your home and posting anonymously.

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