A suspected drunk driver is believed to be responsible for a multi-vehicle crash that sent three people to the hospital Tuesday morning. About 9:30 a.m., Thomas Vincent, 42, of Yucca Valley, was driving a 2010 Dodge Ram 2500 pick-up truck on Old Woman Springs Road in Yucca Valley when he drove into opposing lanes of traffic just south of Buena Suerte Drive and collided with a white Ford F-250 pick-up truck. A motorhome was also struck during the collision. Vincent and two occupants of the F-250 sustained serious injuries and were taken to Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs. Highway 247 was closed for several hours during the investigation, and deputies say DUI is a possible factor in the crash.
There were multiple injuries in a crash on Old Woman Springs Road Tuesday morning. Just before 9:30 a.m., a white and silver pick-up truck collided on Highway 247 just south of Buena Suerte. The silver truck ended up in the culvert on the east side of the highway; the white pick-up truck ended up in the side of the hill on the west side of the highway. The crash is expected to close Old Woman Springs Road for about three hours while deputies investigate the crash. The occupants of the vehicles suffered major injuries and were taken to Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs.
A pedestrian was injured crossing the highway Tuesday in Twentynine Palms. According to the Sheriff’s Department, the driver was making a left turn onto Highway 62 from a gas station east of Adobe Road about 5:15 p.m. when a man wearing dark clothing, who was not identified, crossed the highway south to north. The driver told deputies she tried to stop but she hit the pedestrian at about 10 miles per hour. The man was taken to Desert Hospital in Palm Springs for complaint of pain to his back and neck.
In our series of our top stories of four part-series of the top stories of 2020 is the arrest of Nicole Packer, 35, of Morongo Valley, who was arrested nearly 18 months after a crash that killed two teenagers. Prosecutors say that Packer was driving under the influence and at a high rate of speed when her 2018 white Ford Fiesta crashed into a Toyota Prius just west of Rosella Drive on Highway 62 on June 12, 2019. Hart Campbell, 14, and Ruby Campbell,17, both of Los Angeles, died at local hospitals a few hours later. Packer was arrested December 2 and charged with two counts of murder, DUI causing injury, driving with a suspended license, and speeding while DUI. Nicole Packer pleaded not guilty to all charges December 22. Managing editor Tami Roleff has more information about a murder in Joshua Tree that stunned local residents…
In April, many Morongo Basin residents were stunned by the stabbing death of a popular employee at a Joshua Tree gas station. Shane Castro, 24, of Twentynine Palms, and Anthony Frugoli, 26, were stabbed April 10 by David Urrea, 50, of Joshua Tree. Castro was driven by friends to Hi-Desert Medical Center where he died. Frugoli’s injuries were not life-threatening. Urrea had fled by the time deputies arrived, but a Sheriff’s helicopter located him near Broadway and Copper Mountain in Joshua Tree. Deputies said when Urrea threatened them, they shot and killed him.
And our final top story of 2020 is the conviction of a former Twentynine Palms Marine for murdering a Murrieta man and burying his body in Joshua Tree National Park in 2018. Curtis Krueger, 32, was sentenced in October to 18 years to life for bludgeoning to death Henry Stange, 54, and enlisting the help of his girlfriend, Ashlie Stapp, 29, to clean up the crime scene and help him bury the body. Stapp traded sex for drugs with Stange, but she told Krueger that Stange had raped her.
We have limited information about a crash in Joshua Tree National Park. About 12:45 p.m. Saturday, three people were injured in the two-vehicle crash near the Cottonwood Visitor Center and Pinto Basin Road. One person was critically injured and flown by helicopter to a local hospital.