DROWSY DRIVER CAUSES FIRE AND MULTI-VEHICLE CRASH FIRE IN JOSHUA TREE

UPDATED 10:20 A.M. WITH ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
A driver who said he fell asleep caused a fire and multi-vehicle crash at a gas station in Joshua Tree this morning. According to the California Highway Patrol, Aaron Jones, 28, of Twentynine Palms, was driving a 2013 Dodge Avenger eastbound on Highway 62 at about 50 miles per hour. Jones said he fell asleep at the wheel; as he approached El Reposo Aven, his car crossed the westbound lanes and hit the curb at the corner of Highway 62 and El Reposo Avenue. A witness told Z107.7 News that the impact sent the Dodge onto two wheels; the car continued forward and hit a gas pump and sheared it off at the base. The sedan then hit a Toyota Prius and a Dodge Ram cargo van, which was backing out of a parking stall by Sean Pulliam, 52, of Yucca Valley. The collision caused the Ram to be pushed into the rear of a parked Volkswagen. The gas pump caught fire, but Battalion Chief Mike McClintock said that safety features–a shear valve on the pump, and an employee and customer who quickly hit the kill switch for the gasoline pump—worked, so that only about a gallon of gas burned. Joshua Tree firefighters soon arrived to put out the blaze. There were no injuries. Alcohol or drugs were not a factor in the crash. The CHP reminds motorists that driving while drowsy can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence. The CHP urges drivers to get enough sleep before getting behind the wheel.

Video courtesy Sunshine Kashmir
Joshua Tree firefighters extinguish a fire at the gas pump caused when a driver hit the pump early Friday morning. Tami Roleff photo
The driver of the white sedan said he fell asleep. His car hit the curb, went onto two wheels, then hit the gas pump, and hit the white van which was leaving the gas station. At least two other cars were hit in a chain reaction. Tami Roleff photo
The gas pump had a shear valve, and an employee and customer hit the kill switch, to prevent more gas from flowing into the pump and causing a bigger fire or explosion. Tami Roleff photo

ENROLLMENT FOR MORONGO BASIN PRE-SCHOOLS STILL OPEN

Registration is still open for two preschools in the Morongo Basin, with priority registration going to 3- and 4-year-olds. Reporter Andrew Dieleman has the enrollment details…

Enrollment for the 2020-2021 academic year at Palm Vista State Preschool in Twentynine Palms and Yucca Valley State Preschool in Yucca Valley is still open. This year’s programs will follow distance learning guidelines. Students enrolled will use a hybrid model of independent studies and daily online interactions with their teacher. Students must turn 3 or 4 years old on or before December 1, 2020 to qualify. The program is free to eligible families. To register, or for more information, visit the links below or contact the County Schools office at 909-387-8517.

Registration link:
https://www.sbcss.k12.ca.us/index.php/student-services/state-preschool.

Palm Vista State Preschool

Palm Vista Elementary School
74350 Baseline Road
Twentynine Palms
760-361-1697

Yucca Valley State Preschool

Yucca Valley Elementary School
7601 Hopi Trail
Yucca Valley
760-365-7790

DESERT CLEANSE EVENT TOMORROW AT SUNFAIR DRY LAKE

Tomorrow, deputies and volunteers are teaming up for the Desert Cleanse Project at Sunfair Dry Lake. Reporter Heather Clisby has the details …

In the early morning hours of Saturday, October 17, off-duty deputies of the Morongo Basin Sheriff’s Department will pitch in alongside volunteers for a Desert Cleanse clean up event at Sunfair Dry Lake.

The lake bed and surrounding areas is heavily used by overflow campers and Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) enthusiasts due to it being one of a few spots in the Basin where the Bureau of Land Management has an open route network for off-road recreation. Unfortunately, the area has become trashed with illegal dumping, abandon vehicles, and recreational shooting debris.

Volunteers should meet at the dead end of East Broadway on the lake bed at 7 a.m. and the event will take place from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. For more info on this event, call Deputy N. Campos of the Morongo Basin Station at 760-366-4175.

SHARP-EYED NEIGHBOR REPORTS BURGLARY; 16-YEAR-OLD ARRESTED

A 16-year-old boy was arrested Wednesday morning, accused of burglarizing a Twentynine Palms home. About 6:45 a.m., a neighbor heard a window being smashed at his neighbor’s house in the 72600 block of Aspen Drive. When he looked out his window, he saw an unknown male crawling out of the window carrying a bag. The neighbor followed the suspected burglar and watched him enter a home in the 72500 block of Old Dale Road in Twentynine Palms and called deputies to report a burglary. When deputies arrived at the suspect’s home, they saw a 16-year-old boy trying to flee out the back of the house, but they were able to detain him without incident. A search of the home found the stolen property and clothes worn by the suspected burglar. The juvenile was arrested for investigation of burglary and booked into the San Bernardino County Juvenile Hall. The stolen property was returned to the owner. The Sheriff’s Department appreciates the assistance of residents in keeping their communities safe.

DRIVE THROUGH FOOD DISTRIBUTION TOMORROW IN TWENTYNINE PALMS AND YUCCA VALLEY

In response to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Morongo Basin Healthcare District launched the Feeding Morongo Basin Project. Reporter Hilary Sloane has the details on their next food distribution event…

The Morongo Basin Healthcare District will have two drive-through locations at their community health centers in Yucca Valley and in Twentynine Palms. Both distributions are on Saturday, October 17, beginning at 8 a.m. until supplies are gone.

Residents simply drive up, open the trunk and drive away. The food boxes weigh about 30 pounds and contain non-perishable food items. Distribution will be limited to one box per vehicle while supplies last.

DATE:
Saturday, October 17
Distribution begins at 8 a.m. and continues until supplies are gone.

LOCATION YUCCA VALLEY:
Morongo Basin Community Health Center
58375 Twentynine Palms Hwy at the corner of Prescott Ave. and Hwy 62.

LOCATION 29 PALMS:
Morongo Basin Community Health Center at Split Rock
6380 Split Rock Avenue. From Hwy 62 turn north on Split Rock.