Coachella two-vehicle crash leaves local man dead – Driver arrested for DUI

COACHELLA, Calif., — Authorities say an allegedly intoxicated driver was arrested after a fatal collision that killed his passenger in Coachella Monday evening, Dec. 13.

The deadly crash happened at the intersection of Cesar Chavez Street and Cairo Avenue, according to officials.


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Deputies assigned to the Thermal Sheriff’s Station and other emergency personnel were dispatched to the scene around 8:20 p.m., after receiving reports of a two-vehicle traffic collision, Riverside Sheriff’s Sergeant Mariano Matos III has since reported.

Officials who responded to the scene of a two-vehicle traffic collision in Coachella Monday night found the passenger of a Camaro unresponsive and suffering from critical injuries. The victim passed away at the scene and the driver who allegedly caused the crash was arrested for DUI. KESQ image

Officials began arriving within minutes and found two involved vehicles, described as a white, full-size, GMC Sierra pickup truck and a red Chevrolet Camaro. The passenger of the Camaro, which had been struck broadside by the truck, was found to be unresponsive and despite life-saving efforts, he succumbed to his injuries and passed away at the scene.

The Riverside County Sheriff-Coroner’s Office has since identified Juan De Dios Cisneros, 30, of Coachella, as the passenger killed in the collision. A Coroner’s release indicated he was pronounced deceased at 8:39 p.m. 

The Coachella Community Action Team (CCAT) responded and assumed the investigation and determined the driver of the Camaro, Guermocindo Gonzalez Lopez, 32, of Coachella, was under the influence of alcohol and was found to be at fault in the traffic collision.

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Based on their investigation, deputies arrested Gonzalez after he received medical treatment at Desert Regional Hospital and he was later booked into the John Benoit Detention Center in Indio on suspicion of murder and driving while under the influence.

Anyone with any information regarding this investigation is urged to contact Deputy Nevins with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department at (760) 863-8990. Callers can refer to incident file number Y213470044 and can remain anonymous.

Contact the writer: [email protected]

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.