1 killed, 2 injured in crash on 79 near Temecula

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TEMECULA – A midnight crash east of Temecula left a man dead and two others seriously injured Friday.

Around 12:20 a.m., the driver of a 2004 Mitsubishi Lancer was heading east on state Route 79 “at a high rate of speed,” according to the California Highway Patrol.

Just as a 2004 Kia Rio was approaching on the opposite side of the road, the Mitsubishi driver crossed over the road’s double-yellow line to pass a slower vehicle, the CHP said, causing a head-on collision.

A 23-year-old man who was riding as a passenger in the Kia suffered fatal injuries and died at the scene, according to the CHP. He was identified as Geordon Pollette of Aguanga.

Both the 59-year-old woman, also of Aguanga, who was driving the Kia, and the 50-year-old San Diego man behind the wheel of the Mitsubishi were taken to Inland Valley Medical Center in Wildomar with major injuries.

The crash remained under investigation.

Will Fritz can be reached by email at wfritz@reedermedia.com.

3:30 p.m. Friday: This story was substantially updated with additional information from the California Highway Patrol.