DESERT CENTER: Indio CHP officer’s kindness helps save Christmas for one very fortunate family

DESERT CENTER – Yesterday, one officer from the California Highway Patrol helped ensure a family in need was able to have the merriest Christmas possible. It is unlikely that family will ever forget the kindness and compassion they were shown that day.

The incident began when the California Highway Patrol received a call about a vehicle fire on Interstate 10 eastbound, west of Hayfield Road, in Desert Center. CHP Officer Quintero and other emergency first responders were dispatched to the 8:30 a.m. fire.

Officer Quintero arrives at the scene of yesterday's early morning fire.

Officer Quintero arrives at the scene of yesterday’s early morning fire.

A preliminary investigation revealed a family of six was traveling in an SUV when it caught fire. Although the entire family made it out of the burning vehicle, all of their possessions, including many gifts for the holidays, were destroyed. In spite of the loss, no one was hurt during the incident.

While speaking with the family, Officer Quintero learned of their situation and the fact that no one was available to help them in their predicament, which was presenting itself to be a huge potential financial hardship.

Family members survey the charred remains of their vehicle and all their belongings.

Family members survey the charred remains of their vehicle and all their belongings.

Seeing the family’s need, Officer Quintero took the group of six to a local Bank of America to get an ATM card and money. He then drove them to Enterprise so the family could rent a vehicle, however, that turned into a much more difficult process than first expected.

Due to the fact the families driver’s licenses were both burned in the SUV fire, Enterprise’s policy precluded the couple from renting a vehicle. Officer Quintero even went so far as to try to rent the vehicle for the family, but could not because according to Enterprise’s rental policies, he would have to be the driver.

Not fully prepared for a long road-trip, but more than willing to enjoy a short trip, Officer Quintero drove the family to the DMV, stopping along the way at the Indio CHP Office, where he picked up toys for the children, that had been donated during the agency’s recent CHiPs for Kids toy drive.


One happy family will still get to enjoy their Christmas this year, thanks to one special officer.

Once at the DMV, Officer Quintero helped expedite the process necessary for the family to obtain the documents necessary to rent a vehicle. 

Officer Quintero stayed with the entire family for over five hours to ensure they were fully taken care of. He did not leave their side and stayed with them until they were successfully able to rent a vehicle and were safely back on their way.

It is not likely the kindness of Officer Quintero will soon be forgotten, by this family or by anyone else who hears about this officer’s act of kindness.


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