Coroner Releases Name of Tow Truck Driver Killed on Cabazon Freeway

Authorities Wednesday released the name of a tow truck driver who was struck and killed by a big rig on Interstate 10 in Cabazon.

Jon Israel, 50, of Cabazon, died at the scene of the 9 a.m. Tuesday crash on westbound I-10, west of Haughen Lehmann Way.

Israel was on duty with local tow company Stagecoach Towing when he parked his flatbed on the north shoulder of the freeway and got out of the truck, according to CHP Officer Darren Meyer, who said it was unknown why he pulled over, as there were no disabled vehicles needing service in the area.

As Israel was reentering his truck, he and the open tow truck door were struck by a semi driven by 52-year-old Riverside resident Marco Rodriguez, who “allowed his vehicle to drift onto the north shoulder,” Meyer said.

Israel was thrown from the side of his truck onto the slow lane. The officer said a passing motorist stopped and pulled him out of the freeway lanes.

The cause of the crash remained under investigation, but Meyer said alcohol and drugs have been ruled out as contributing factors. CHP investigators also conducted a mechanical inspection of the big rig at the CHP’s Desert Hills Inspection Facility, though any conclusions made as a result of that inspection were not disclosed.

No arrests or citations have been made.

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