One person was killed, and at least a dozen people were injured in three separate crashes over the weekend. Sheriff officials say that about 3 a.m. Saturday morning, a Honda Fit driven by LaVerne Romero of Cathedral City was driving westbound on Two Mile Road when she ran the stop sign at Lear Avenue and hit a Kia Sol broadside, driven by Juan Navarro, 22, a Marine assigned to HQ Company, 7th Marine Regiment at the Twentynine Palms Marine base.
Navarro was the designated driver in the Kia and was sober, according to Sheriff’s Sergeant Steve Wilson. Navarro sustained a broken jaw. Killed in the crash was Corey Coumbes, 24, also a Marine with 7th Marines, who was sitting in the right rear seat of the Kia. Cole Wiley, 23, another Marine, suffered multiple broken bones. The passengers in the Honda—Julianna Santillan, 25, Tiffany Romero, 30, and Shannelle Clipper, 41—all suffered unknown injuries. Two of the women were flown to Desert Hospital in Palm Springs; one of the Marines and the other woman were taken to Hi-Desert Medical Center. Lear Avenue was closed to traffic for about six hours during the investigation of the crash. Rescue personnel and military police from the Combat Center assisted at the scene. The Sheriff’s Department is investigating.
A man described as being in “an altered state of consciousness” by paramedics is believed to be responsible for a four-vehicle crash in Yucca Valley Saturday night. According to witnesses, the man was speeding westbound about 80 miles per hour in the center lane of Highway 62, swerving in and out of traffic just before 9 p.m. As the man approached La Contenta Road, he blew through the red light and hit a red Hyundai in the middle of the intersection. His car then hit a Ford that was in the eastbound left turn lane, and hit a third car in the eastbound 62, before his car flipped upside down, ending up on its roof in the slow lane of eastbound Highway 62. The driver, who has not been identified, was taken to Desert Hospital in Palm Springs. A woman in the red Hyundai, the first vehicle hit, was taken to Hi-Desert Medical Center with minor injuries. The CHP is investigating the crash.
At 6:43 p.m. Sunday evening, a red Mazda 6 with a man, woman, and toddler, and a white Hyundai Sonata with two women inside, crashed head-on and blocked the eastbound lanes of the highway on the highway near Arizona Avenue in Joshua Tree. The highway was shut down to allow helicopters to land and transport the victims to area hospitals. The male driver of the Mazda had to be cut out using the Jaws of Life; he was taken by ground ambulance to Desert Hospital in Palm Springs with serious injuries. The toddler was taken to Hi-Desert Medical Center. Three helicopters were called in to fly the female patients with major injuries to Loma Linda Hospital, Eisenhower Hospital, and Desert Hospital. The California Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.