TEMECULA (CNS) – A 71-year-old man and his dog were killed, and another motorist was seriously injured, in a head-on collision in Temecula that occurred when the senior’s compact SUV drifted into oncoming traffic and hit a car, authorities said today.

Steven Lowe of Temecula was fatally injured about 2:15 p.m. Wednesday on Calle Contento, less than a quarter-mile north of Madera de Playa, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The agency said that Lowe was at the wheel of a 2004 Chevrolet Tracker going southbound on Calle Contento at an unknown speed when he allowed the SUV to cross the double yellow lines and enter northbound lanes.

At the same time, a 52-year-old Temecula woman driving a 2015 Mercedes-
Benz GL 450 was approaching on the northbound side of the two-lane corridor
and encountered the SUV coming straight at her, the CHP said.

“The Chevy’s left front collided head-on with the Mercedes’ left front,” the agency said. “The impact caused major damage to both vehicles.”

Lowe was not wearing a seatbelt and suffered major trauma in the crash, as did one of the canines in the vehicle with him, according to the CHP. The woman in the Mercedes, whose identity was not disclosed, also suffered major injuries.

She and Lowe were taken to Inland Valley Medical Center in Wildomar, where he died less than an hour later, according to Riverside County coroner’s officials.

His dog died in the vehicle, despite firefighters’ attempts to revive the pet, the CHP said. Another of the victim’s dogs survived without injury and was placed in the care of the county Department of Animal Services.

The Mercedes driver was expected to recover from her injuries. Calle Contento was shut down for nearly three hours while the wreckage was cleared and officers conducted a preliminary investigation. Anyone with information regarding the crash was asked to contact the CHP’s Temecula office at 951-506-2004.

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