On Aug.19 at approximately 12:53 p.m., Christopher Ortega, a 34-year-old man from Chowchilla, California, was driving a dark grey, 2005 Mini Cooper westbound on SR-74, a half mile west of SR-79.

Traveling in the opposite direction, eastbound on SR-74, was Jesus Diaz, a 26-year-old man from Perris.

Diaz was driving a tan, 2018 Toyota Camry.

In a section of road divided by a two-way left turn lane, the Mini Cooper crossed into the opposing lane. The westbound Mini Cooper collided head-on into the eastbound Toyota. The impact was so violent that the engine from the Mini Cooper was torn from the vehicle and flew across the westbound lanes. The engine landed on the north dirt shoulder of SR-74 approximately 40 feet from the location of the crash. Both the driver and passenger in the Mini Cooper were not wearing seat belts and were ejected from the vehicle.

The 36-year-old female passenger in the Mini Cooper was a resident of Hemet.

She sustained fatal injuries as a result of the collision and was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Ortega was transported by AMR ambulance to Inland Valley Regional Medical Center with serious injuries.

In the Toyota with Diaz was 21-year-old Kimberly Uribe from Perris. She and Diaz were transported to Riverside University Health Systems by AMR ambulance with non life-threatening injuries.

Alcohol and drugs have been ruled out as contributing factors in the cause of this collision.

The preliminary investigation revealed the driver and passenger of the Mini Cooper were arguing inside the vehicle prior to the collision.


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