Updated 7:15 p.m. with information from the California Highway Patrol
A 15-year-old boy was injured when he was hit by a car in Morongo Valley Sunday morning. The California Highway Patrol said the Matthew Brake, of Morongo Valley, was jogging north on Park Avenue about 6 a.m. Brake was wearing dark-colored clothing and it was still dark. When Brake entered the crosswalk at Park and Highway 62, he was struck by a 2012 Hyundai Sonata driven westbound by Ramon Lomeli, 31, of Yucca Valley. Brake told Morongo Valley firefighters he misjudged the speed of an oncoming car as he was crossing the highway; he was hit in the number 1 lane as he crossed southbound. Lomeli, who stopped to help the boy, said he didn’t see Brake until it was too late. Family members said Brake suffered a broken pelvis and foot, along with road rash. He was transported by Morongo Basin Ambulance to Desert Hospital in Palm Springs. The CHP reminds residents to use caution when approaching crosswalks, and pedestrians should wear light-colored and reflective clothing during the hours of darkness.
Sheriff’s deputies are investigating a theft from an ambulance that was in the shop for repairs. Morongo Basin Ambulance Operations Chief Matt Welsch said the Mercedes Sprinter ambulance had been towed to an area dealership for repairs. While in the shop’s parking lot, two men in an SUV cut off the ambulance’s catalytic converter about 6:30 a.m. Saturday and left with it. Welsch said deputies told him that this type of theft has been increasing over the last month. MBA is working with its insurance company on a claim, but the non-profit organization will have to cover the deductible, and the ambulance will remain out of service until it is repaired. Welsch stressed there will be no impact on MBA’s normal operations and staffing levels, as it has a reserve ambulance to cover in instances such as these. Anyone with information about the theft should call the Sheriff’s Department at 760-366-4175.
A Morongo Valley man was arrested Wednesday, accused of attempting to murder three people. Deputies were called to the 3700 block of Porter Boulevard in Joshua Tree just before 6 a.m. Wednesday. When they arrived, they found a 24-year-old woman with multiple blunt force trauma injuries to her head, as well as stab wounds in various locations on her body. Deputies learned that Joshua Vasquez, 22, had broken into the home and attacked the woman while she slept, due to a dispute over money. A 49-year-old woman and 46-year-old man in the home attempted to intervene and help the woman, but deputies say they were also attacked by Vasquez. Two victims were taken by Morongo Basin Ambulance to a landing zone and then taken by helicopter to Desert Hospital in Palm Springs, the third was taken by ambulance. Joshua Vasquez was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, with his bail set at $1 million.
A woman was injured following a single-vehicle crash in Wonder Valley Thursday morning. About 9:30 a.m., firefighters from Twentynine Palms and the Combat Center were called to Amboy Road and Bauman Drive where they found a car on its side with the driver, a 66-year-old woman, trapped under the steering wheel. After extricating her, she was taken by Morongo Basin Ambulance to Desert Hospital in Palm Springs with moderate injuries.
A Joshua Tree man who was not wearing a seatbelt was seriously injured in a head-on crash Saturday afternoon. According to the California Highway Patrol, Valerie Glover, 36, of Joshua Tree, was driving a silver 2014 GMC Terrain southbound on Mountain Shadow Road, while Paul Rendon, 58, of Yucca Valley, was driving a 1996 Lincoln Mark VIII northbound. Both vehicles were traveling close to the center of the dirt road. When they reached the crest of a hill near an intersection with Moonlight Mesa Road, they had little time to react and the two vehicles crashed head on. Glover and Rendon were both wearing their seatbelts had had minor injuries. However, a passenger in Rendon’s GMC, Jerry Hardcastle, 56, was not wearing his seatbelt and he suffered major injuries. He was taken by Morongo Basin Ambulance to Hi-Desert Medical Center, where he was to be flown to a nearby trauma hospital. The CHP reminds residents to wear their seatbelts and to drive on the right side of the road. Slow down when approaching intersections and blind hills and curves.