FRENCH VALLEY – California Highway Patrol officers are asking for the public’s help in continuing to investigate a suspected DUI-related crash that left a Winchester woman dead last Friday.
The deadly collision took place about 4 p.m. May 22 at the intersection of Winchester and Thompson roads in French Valley, and officers were seeking witnesses who may have observed it, or who may have photos or videos of it.
According to CHP Officer Mike Lassig at the time, a 35-year-old man behind the wheel of a 2020 Kia Optima was traveling south “at a high rate of speed” on Winchester Road in a left turn lane at Thompson Road. The man failed to brake as he approached the rear of a 2017 Ford Fusion that was stopped at the red light, and he slammed into the back of the sedan.
The force of the impact sent the Ford, which was being driven by a 43-year-old woman — later identified as Amy Litteral of Winchester — into the intersection where it struck a 2016 Toyota Corolla with a 23-year-old San Marcos woman behind the wheel, Lassig said.
Litteral was seriously injured; she was rushed in an ambulance to Inland Valley Medical Center in Wildomar, but she succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced dead a little more than 30 minutes after the crash.
A passenger in the Kia was taken to the same hospital with minor injuries, while the Toyota driver was not hurt, according to Lassig.
The Kia driver, identified as Joshua Morris of Temecula, was arrested on suspicion of murder and felony driving under the influence and various other felonies and misdemeanors, including hit-and-run, driving on a suspended license and possession of “unlawful paraphernalia.”
Jail records indicate Morris being held at the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta in lieu of $1 million bail.
Witnesses to the crash were asked to call investigator Tim Fenton of the Temecula Area CHP at 951-506-2000.
According to a GoFundMe page created by the Litteral family to pay for funeral and other expenses after the fatal crash, Amy Litteral left behind an 11-year-old son.
As of May 28, the GoFundMe had raised more than $51,000, surging past its goal of $50,000.
Will Fritz can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.