CHP: Fatal collision caused by driver veering into oncoming traffic

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AGUANGA (CNS) – A head-on collision near Aguanga that killed a 60-year-old man and seriously injured two other people was triggered when a driver steered into oncoming traffic at a bend in the road, authorities said Monday, Aug. 17.
The deadly crash happened about 3:15 p.m. Sunday on Highway 79, just north of Dugan Drive, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Officer Mike Lassig said a 29-year-old man at the wheel of a Dodge Challenger was traveling north on the highway at about 55 mph when he reached a sharp downhill curve on the two-lane corridor.
A motorist coming from the opposite direction in a Subaru Outback arrived at the bend about the same time, but was going slightly slower and traveling uphill, Lassig said.
He said the Dodge driver, whose identity has not been disclosed, was behind several vehicles when he “traveled across the double yellow lines, directly toward the Subaru.”
“The Dodge collided directly into the front of the oncoming SUV,” Lassig said. “The impact caused the Subaru to veer partially off the roadway onto the dirt shoulder, west of the roadway.”
The Dodge came to rest in both the north- and southbound lanes, bringing traffic to a halt.
Riverside County Fire Department paramedics reached the location within a few minutes and pronounced the man in the right front passenger seat of the Subaru dead at the scene. The victim’s identity was being withheld pending notification of his family.
The driver of the Subaru, identified only as a 50-year-old Aguanga woman, suffered major injuries and was taken to Inland Valley Medical Center in Wildomar, where she remains in serious condition, according to Lassig.
The Dodge driver was also critically injured and taken to Inland Valley for treatment, while his passenger, a 17-year-old girl from Temecula, suffered moderate injuries and was treated and released from Inland Valley.
“The CHP would like to remind all motorists to always be mindful of speed,” Lassig said. “Remember to use a high visual horizon, which will allow you to adjust speed for curves or hazards in the roadway. Never cross over double yellow lines.”
The crash remains under investigation, and there was no word on whether the CHP intends to seek charges against the hospitalized driver.