UPDATE: 12/05/2016 5:38 p.m.
SAGE – California Highway Patrol officials concluded their initial investigation into this morning’s fatal traffic collision and provided additional details about the deadly accident.
Investigating officers determined that drug and/or alcohol intoxication were contributing factor(s) in this collision, according to CHP Public Information Officer Darren Meyer.
During their investigation officers determined Tracie Bell, 53, of Riverside was driving a brown, 2009, Scion XB northbound on Sage Road just south of Selgado Canyon Road. Officers believe Bell was intoxicated at the time of the collision.
Authorities have not specified what they believe Bell was under the influence of, pending toxicology results.
The other driver, who was later identified by coroner officials as Dawn Murphy, 46, of Hemet, was driving a silver, 2015, Nissan Versa in the opposite direction, southbound on Sage Road.
According to Meyer, Bell allowed her vehicle to drift into the southbound lane, directly into the path of the Nissan that Murphy was traveling in.
The vehicles collided head-on. The impact of the collision caused major damage to both vehicles.
Murphy was left trapped inside her vehicle after the collision. Firefighters had to extricate her from the mangled wreckage of her car. She succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. A coroner’s release listed her time of death as 7:29 a.m.
“Bell sustained significant injuries and was transported by AMR to Inland Valley Hospital,” Meyer explained. “There were no passengers in either vehicle.”
Sage Road was closed in both directions for about two hours while officers conducted their investigation and collected evidence related to the fatal DUI-related collision.
CHP officials are continuing their investigation into the early-morning collision.
According to Meyer, after CHP officers have concluded their investigation, their findings will be forwarded to the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office for possible charges to be filed against Bell.
Officials have requested that anyone who has information about the incident or who witnessed the deadly collision to contact CHP Officer Eagleman at the CHP’s San Gorgonio area station at (951) 769-2000. Callers can refer to incident file number 161205IC00062 and can remain anonymous.
SAGE – At least one person was killed in a two-vehicle, head-on collision on Sage Road near Minto Way Monday, Dec. 5. The area where the accident occurred is just south of the City of Hemet. The fatal wreck was reported to California Highway Patrol officials at 7:12 a.m., according to a CHP official.
CHP officers from the San Gorgonio and Temecula area stations and other emergency first responders were dispatched to the deadly crash after multiple 911 callers reported the accident to CHP emergency dispatchers. According to a CHP incident log, the vehicles were described as a silver Nissan Versa and a maroon Scion XB.
Witnesses told dispatchers the two vehicles were left blocking the roadway after the accident and that one of the vehicles was smoking.
13 firefighters from three engine companies responded to the scene, according to Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Public Information Officer April Newman. They were assisted by a medic squad.
When they arrived at the scene, firefighter/paramedics, CHP officials, and AMR medics discovered the mangled wreckage of the two vehicles.
The first arriving engine company reported finding two victims trapped. Both victims required extrication from their vehicles.
CHP officials called for the temporary closure of Sage Road to ensure the safety of firefighters and other emergency first responders, according to CHP Public Information Officer Darren Meyer.
One victim was successfully extricated from their vehicle, however the person sustained major traumatic injuries in the accident.
Firefighter/paramedics treated the victim at the scene before AMR medics transported the subject to a local hospital by ground ambulance. Two firefighter/paramedics went with the victim on the ambulance. The subject’s condition was listed as serious, according to Newman.
The other victim succumbed to their injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene about 7:36 a.m.
Neither victim has been identified.
At 7:53 a.m., CHP officials requested a fixed-wing aerial unit to respond to the location to take overhead photographs at the scene of the deadly collision.
Sage Road was re-opened after the vehicles were cleared from the roadway, according to Meyer.
CHP officials are conducting an accident investigation and have not released the cause of the accident. Meyer explained a press release with further information would be released later Monday.