Three San Diegans, on their way to the Coachella Music Festival in Indio, were involved in a deadly car accident Thursday morning. CHP says an 18-year-old woman is dead, a 16-year-old has life-threatening injuries and a 21-year-old was not seriously injured.
It happened Thursday morning at about 4:15a.m. on eastbound I-10 near Hargrave Street in Banning, about 40 miles from Indio, where the event is being held. CHP says 21-year-old Cesar Hernandez-Ozuna was driving a BMW, with a 16-year-old Manuela Cerciello-Rahbari, in the front seat and an 18-year-old woman in the backseat, at a high rate of speed when he drifted onto the dirt shoulder. He lost control of the car as he tried to get back onto the freeway lanes, but the BMW went over the south embankment and collided with two trees.
According to CHP officials, the crash split the car into two pieces, and the 18-year-old was ejected. She was pronounced dead at the scene. The 16-year-old girl was taken to the hospital with serious, life-threatening injuries. Hernandez-Ozuna suffered a facial injury, according to the CHP. CHP officials said the BMW was filled with food, alcohol and camping gear for the Coachella trip.
The crash remains under investigation, and CHP officials said while alcohol was in the car, alcohol and or drugs were not a factor in the crash.
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