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Valley teen hit by car dies, brother stabs and carjacks driver

By Laura Yanez, News Reporter, Laura.Yanez@cbslocal2.com
Published On: Jan 10 2013 04:30:10 AM CST
Updated On: Jan 10 2013 04:47:11 AM CST
CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. -

"He was a teenager who had his whole life ahead of him. He was only 17 years old," said Giovanni Flores.

Flores is talking about his nephew Daniel Matus of Cathedral City. Daniel just recently started his new job working at Five Guys in La Quinta.

The 17-year-old was killed after he was struck by a white pickup truck around 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, while crossing Cathedral Canyon Drive just south of Hillcrest Road in the Cathedral Cove neighborhood.

Police say the driver pulled over, called police and stayed with Daniel, who later died at the scene. 

"It's kind of a strange situation we ran into during this investigation," said Capt. Chuck Robinson of the Cathedral City Police Department.

Officers discovered that as the driver waited, the teen's older brother Jose Matus, 19, of Cathedral City, then attacked the driver with a knife and took off in his truck. 

Authorities later found the truck on the 31500 block of El Pueblo Trail in Cathedral City around midnight. The vehicle stopped for police and the driver, Matus, was taken into custody.

"We discovered the suspect in the carjacking and stabbing happens to be the older brother of the younger brother killed in the collision," said Robinson. 

"Right now I'm dismayed. So you can imagine how his mother and father feel," said Flores.

The driver suffered a single knife wound to the torso and was transported to Desert Regional Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries. Police say he currently is not facing any charges.

The suspect is in custody for assault with a deadly weapon and carjacking, said Robinson.

After losing his nephew Daniel and with Jose now behind bars, Flores says "the pain I feel is unbearable."

The cause of the crash and what led to the stabbing are under investigation. Police ask anyone who might know anything or saw something to call Valley Crimestoppers at 760-341-STOP.