Authorities Monday released the name of a Mexican citizen who was killed in a crash when the big rig he was riding in tumbled down an embankment off Interstate 10 in Desert Center.
Jose Antonio Gutierrez-Avila, 67, of Ciudad Juarez, was ejected from the truck and died at the scene of the 11:05 p.m. Friday crash on eastbound Interstate 10, about a mile west of state Route 177.
According to California Highway Patrol Officer Jackie Quintero, Gutierrez-Avila was a passenger in the big rig, which was driven by a 43-year-old Mexican man who was hospitalized with moderate injuries.
The semi drifted off the right side of Interstate 10 and overturned, ejecting Gutierrez-Avila, who was not wearing a seatbelt, Quintero said.
The crash was one of three fatal accidents that occurred in less than day in the Desert Center area.
Just hours prior to the collision that killed Gutierrez-Avila, two people were killed in a head-on crash on state Route 62, east of state Route 177.
At 9:27 p.m. Friday, a white Dodge Ram heading east on state Route 62 drifted into the westbound lane “for reasons still under investigation” and slammed head-on into a red Dodge Ram, Quintero said.
The driver of the red Dodge, a 56-year-old Big River man, died at the scene, along with a 20-year-old woman riding in the white Dodge, Quintero said. The driver of the white Dodge and another of his passengers were hospitalized with major injuries.
At 6:22 a.m. Saturday, a 55-year-old Idaho man stopped his big rig on the side of eastbound Interstate 10, west of Eagle Mountain Road, where he was struck by a U-Haul truck after exiting his Freightliner. He was taken to John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital in Indio, where he later died.
The U-Haul driver and a passenger were uninjured, according to Quintero.