The Marine Corps has released the name of one of the fatalities in the Highway 62 crash that killed two and injured three Sunday night. Marine Pfc. Menachem Goldbloom, age 24, was killed in the three-vehicle accident that closed the highway in both directions for more than 15 hours. The name of the other fatality, a male, has not been released. Three others were injured in the crash. According to a Marine spokesman, two of the injured were Marines who were airlifted to area hospitals where they remain in stable condition. All three Marines involved in the crash were stationed aboard the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms. Goldbloom joined the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines unit in September. He was from Cook County, Illinois. Sunday’s crash closed Highway 62 in both directions between Lear Avenue in Twentynine Palms and Sunfair Road in Joshua Tree wreaking havoc for commuters.
According to the Sheriff’s Department. The driver of an east bound Toyota crossed the center line and into the path of a west-bound Audi. The man driving the Audi was pronounced dead at the scene. Goldbloom, a passenger in the Toyota was ejected from the vehicle. Also involved in the crash, a west-bound Dodge ran off the road after hitting debris from the crash. Of the others injured, two in critical condition, were airlifted to regional trauma centers. According to Marine Corps Times, this year car and motorcycle accidents are the number one mishap killer of Marines.
Following the crash, west-bound traffic was re-routed through the Twentynine Palms entrance to Joshua Tree National Park while east-bound traffic was directed to the Park Boulevard entrance in Joshua Tree. The highway was reopened in both directions about 11:30 a.m. Monday.