Man & teen killed in Palm Desert crash ID’d

PALM DESERT, Calif., — Authorities say two victims, including an adult male and a juvenile male were killed while a third victim was injured, after a two-vehicle crash in Palm Desert early yesterday morning, Sunday Sept. 12. The fatal crash happened in the area of Hwy. 111 just south of Desert Crossing, near the Desert Center Shopping Center, according to officials.


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Deputies from the Palm Desert Sheriff’s Station, along with Cal Fire-Riverside and other emergency personnel were dispatched to the scene around 4:30 a.m., Cal Fire reported after the collision.

When officials arrived they found two vehicles with a total of three occupants. Two of the occupants from a dark-colored SUV were critically injured and trapped inside their wrecked vehicle and firefighters began a cut and recue operation. However, despite life-saving efforts, two of the victims succumbed to their injuries and ultimately passed away at the scene.

A heavily damaged vehicle is seen following a deadly crash that killed two and injured a third in Palm Desert early yesterday morning. Michelle Soos/KESQ3 News photo

Riverside County Sheriff-Coroner officials have since identified Oscar Juarez Barrios, 17, of Mecca, and Gilberto Gomez, 52, of Indio, as the pair killed in the collision. A coroner’s release indicated the teen was pronounced deceased at 4:42 a.m., while Barrios was pronounced deceased at 5:05 a.m.

A third victim was transported by ground ambulance to an area hospital with injuries Cal Fire described as serious.

Officials have not said what may have led to the collision or whether alcohol and/or drug intoxication were believed to have been contributing factors in the crash, which remains under investigation.

Contact the writer:

Trevor Montgomery, 50, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS).

Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County-based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.

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 30 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.

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