Two Die in Badlands Crash After Vehicle Reportedly Cuts Another Off

CHP reports that the driver lost control of her car while swerving to miss another vehicle, and slammed into a tree.

Approximate location of crash.  Courtesy: Google Maps
Approximate location of crash. Courtesy: Google Maps
Two people died "instantly" in a Wednesday night crash in the Badlands area of State Route 60, after the driver crashed into a tree while apparently swerving to avoid another vehicle, the California Highway Patrol reports. 

According to CHP Officer Darren Meyer, the crash happened around 7:21 p.m. on the westbound side of the 60, near Jack Rabbit Trail, in Beaumont.

According to Meyer, a Cathedral City woman, 34, was driving her black Toyota Camry, when witnesses say "...an unidentified vehicle unsafely changed lanes in front of the Camry causing [the driver] to swerve."

At that point, the woman lost control, and drove off the north edge of the highway, according to Meyer.  The two passengers inside the Camry-- a 19-year-old Artesia woman and 36-year-old Las Vegas man--  "were killed instantly," Meyer said.

"After the collision, [the driver] was conscious, but trapped, in the wreckage of her car," Meyer said.  "She was able to use her cellular phone to call family in Cathedral City who, in turn, called 9-1-1 to report the crash.  CHP and firefighters were dispatched and arrived on scene shortly thereafter."

The woman was taken to Riverside Regional Medical Center in Moreno Valley with injuries described as major.  

The CHP is now looking for any witnesses to the crash.  If you saw something, contact the San Gorgonio Pass CHP office at (951) 769-2000.


Jackalope January 30, 2014 at 02:49 PM
:( This is a scary stretch of road. I almost died on that road due to a semi truck. Just imagine how much more dangerous this road will be with all of the new semi truck traffic from the monster warehouse (The size 18 costcos) that the county wants to build in our beautiful Cherry Valley hills.
SMD January 30, 2014 at 10:24 PM
How many people need to die before the state makes that whole stretch of highway safer. That crossing where Dowlings is very dangerous also.
J. Beaumont February 01, 2014 at 02:58 PM
Caltrans is currently in the design phase of widening the highway. I don't know if the full funding has been identified, but it is a near term priority. The crossing at Dowlings will be closed once the Portreo intersection is constructed, probably a few years from now.
ATC February 01, 2014 at 04:55 PM
I believe that the currently planned widening is only going to be on the eastbound side, to help with the truck traffic going up the hills. ******* The Badlands have been a "bad" driving situation forever; but is actually better now than it used to be. Back in the 70s, it actually had NO center divider at all, all the way through (same thing with Lambs Canyon from Beaumont to Hemet). Many people died, particularly in wet weather, when drivers would lose control and cross the painted center lines into oncoming traffic. The center divider was finally added up to Jackrabbit Tr. sometime in the 80s I think, and then it was extended up to Dowlings after another fatal crash in the early 2000s. The hills & terrain make that section of road particularly difficult and expensive to make any major overhaul.
Leonard Hernandez February 05, 2014 at 09:02 PM
I have to agree that the crossing at Dowlings is something I try to avoid. Leonard Hernandez


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »