1 killed in Aguanga crash; authorities seek driver suspected of fleeing scene

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Cars line up to get around a fatal crash on state Route 371 in Aguanga Friday morning. Valley News/Tyler Anderson courtesy photo

AGUANGA – Authorities are searching for a man believed to have fled on foot after allegedly causing a fatal crash in Aguanga early Friday morning.

The deadly accident happened about 6:15 a.m. on state Route 371 near Wilson Valley Road.

According to the California Highway Patrol, the driver of a 2011 Nissan Versa slammed into the back of a 1986 Toyota pickup while both vehicles were heading north on the highway.

The impact caused the Nissan driver to lose control, veer into the oncoming lane and strike a 2001 Mercedes-Benz.

Both the Nissan and the Mercedes overturned and came to rest on opposite sides of the roadway.

The driver of the Mercedes, identified as a 63-year-old Aguanga woman, was killed in the crash. The two occupants of the Toyota pickup, identified as Hemet residents, were uninjured.

The Nissan driver apparently left the scene on foot, and was last seen walking south toward state Route 79, according to the CHP. He was described as an approximately-25-to-30-year-old white man wearing a black beanie and a dark-colored hooded sweatshirt, the CHP said. It’s unknown if the suspect was injured in any way.

The California Highway Patrol was continuing to investigate the crash, and anyone with any additional information, including on the whereabouts of the suspected hit-and-run driver, was asked to call the Temecula CHP at 951-506-2000.

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

Noon Friday: This story was substantially updated with additional information from the California Highway Patrol.

11:30 a.m. Saturday: This story was updated to indicate the victim was a woman, not a man as was previously reported. Valley News regrets the error.