5-month-old ejected in Hwy 74 crash suffered fatal injuries – 2 adults hospitalized
PINYON PINES – A 5-month-old girl from Rancho Mirage died Sunday, May 1, in a single-vehicle traffic accident, according to California Highway Patrol officials. Two others sustained major injures in the accident that caused the closure of both lanes of traffic along the highway between Pinyon Pines and Palm Desert. Highway 74 is also known as the Pines To Palms Highway in the area where the fatal accident occurred.
In a press release from Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Spokeswoman Jody Hagemann explained, “The car went about 150 feet over the side of the road near Vista Point.”
The accident – involving a black, two-seat Porsche – was reported to emergency first responders at about 8:08 a.m.
According to a Coroner’s report, 5-month-old Armani Green was pronounced dead at 9:28 a.m., about one hour and one half hours after the crash occurred. The coroner’s release indicated the accident occurred on Highway 74, near Mile Marker 89, outside Palm Desert.
Two other people from inside the car suffered serious injuries in the crash. Both were airlifted off the side of the mountain and treated at the scene by emergency first responders before being transported by ambulance to an area hospital for treatment.
18 firefighters from three engine companies and one truck company responded to the fatal accident. Emergency first responders from CAL FIRE/Riverside County Fire Department, AMR, California Highway Patrol, and Riverside County Sheriff’s Department responded to the accident to assist with recovering deceased infant and extricating the victims from the mangled vehicle.
When emergency first responders arrived, they immediately began rescue operations for the two subjects trapped inside the Porsche. During their rescue efforts, officials learned that several citizens had stopped and risked their lives climbing down into the canyon to help those trapped in the wrecked car.
Among others, a motorcyclist, a bicyclist, and a passing motorist all reportedly went down into the steep ravine to provide aid and comfort to those injured in the crash. While citizens attempted to assist the driver and passenger, the good Samaritans discovered an infant who was ejected from the car at the time of the collision. The infant sustained major traumatic injuries and was later pronounced dead at the scene by emergency first responders.
Witnesses at the scene later described seeing a child’s diaper bag, a child’s jacket, baby clothing, vehicle debris and other personal items that were found strewn about the roadway and down the steep embankment.
CHP officers requested assistance from H60 – one of their helicopters – to airlift the two survivors out of the steep ravine. After the technical hoist, paramedics treated both adult victims at the scene before they were taken by ambulance to Desert Regional Medical Center. The couple, described only as a male and female, have not yet been identified.
Although there were three people inside the wrecked vehicle, the Porsche the three victims were in only had seats and seat belts for two occupants, according to a CHP official. Because the car only had seats for two people, CHP officials stated they do not believe the infant was properly and legally restrained inside the vehicle.
The driver and passenger – described only as a man and a woman – were in their seats and were wearing their safety belts. In spite of their injuries, both are expected to survive. According to officials, the woman was critically injured in the accident. A fire incident report from Cal Fire indicated both the male and female sustained major injuries in the accident.
After the crash, CHP officers called for the temporary closure of all traffic on Highway 74 between Pinyon Pines and Palm Desert. The closure lasted about 5 hours, while officers conducted an accident investigation and crews reportedly spent several hours recovering the destroyed Porsche from the ravine.
Both lanes of traffic were reportedly re-opened around 1 p.m.
According to a CHP official, the cause of the accident is still under investigation; however the official stated, “Based on the physical evidence and the way the collision occurred, it appears that speed was a contributing factor in this fatal accident.”
This was the second fatality on Highway 74 to occur in less than one month. CHP and CalTrans officials stated the guard rail that was destroyed in the crash was just repaired and replaced, after the other recent fatal accident in the same area.
Eutiquio Ramirez, of Indio, died April 10, after his vehicle went off the roadway and plummeted nearly 100 feet down the steep embankment.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
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