More details released after deadly Desert Hot Springs head-on crash

UPDATED: Monday, Aug. 31, 12:30 p.m., With additional details released by family.

DESERT HOT SPRINGS, Calif. — Two men were killed in a violent, head-on collision in Desert Hot Springs that injured two others early this morning, Sunday, Aug 30.

The deadly crash, which forced the hours-long closure of the roadway, happened on the 18000 block of North Indian Canyon Dr., just north of 18th Ave.


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CHP, Cal Fire-Riverside, and AMR responded to the scene around 1:10 a.m., according to a Cal Fire social media release.

When officials arrived they found two wrecked vehicles, described as a red Dodge Challenger and dark-colored vehicle that was left unrecognizable by the collision. Vehicle parts and debris were scattered across the roadway, which was soon left blocked and impassable by responding personnel.

Firefighter found two men in the destroyed Dodge and determined that both victims had already succumbed to their injuries and passed away at he scene.

Firefighters also found two injured victims in the second wrecked vehicle. One of the two surviving victims was trapped inside the sedan and firefighters had to extricate the seriously injured person. 

Firefighters work to extricate two men killed after a head-on collision that critically injured another person and caused minor injuries to another. John Strangis/EN Media Productions photo

Riverside County Sheriff-Coroner officials have since identified the victims killed in the collision as Raul Martin Guzman, 24, and Emiaj Lane, 22, both of Desert Hot Springs. A coroner’s report indicated the men were pronounced deceased within two minutes of each other.

Although it was not immediately known which victim was driving the Dodge at the time of the deadly crash, Lane’s family has since said the 22-year-old had recently purchased the Dodge, referring to it as his “dream car”.

According to a Cal Fire social media release, paramedics transported two other victims to a local hospital for treatment; including one with injuries described as critical and the other with minor injuries.

North Indian Canyon Drive was closed for about six hours after the collision and re-opened later in the morning.

Officials have identified Raul Martin Guzman, 24, (Left) and Emiaj Lane, 22, (Right) as the victims killed in Sunday’s deadly collision. Guzman and Lane gofundme photos

In the wake of the tragic accident, the families of the two men killed in the collision have reached out to the Desert Hot Springs community for help and assistance.

In a gofundme fundraising account, Lane’s family wrote, “Due to a careless driver … Emiaj Lane was in a tragic car accident that took his life. He just turned 22.”

“He was a loving son and big brother who wanted to start a family of his own one day, he also had plans to have his own property, his own business,” anguished and grieving family members explained.

“He (just) purchased his first car which happened to be his Dream car,” his family continued; referring to the Dodge involved in the fatal collision. 

In a separate gofundme account, Guzman’s family wrote, “Raul was a hard working, fun, happy, loving, and energetic young man.”

“He loved to travel and lived his life to the fullest,” his family continued; saying, “He was taken from us way too soon.”

CHP is continuing to investigate the cause of the deadly collision and had not yet ruled out alcohol or drug intoxication as possible contributing factors.

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John Strangis/RM Media Productions photos above, video below.

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Contact the writer:

Trevor Montgomery, 48, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, (the now defunct) Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 29 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.