Two people were killed and three injured Thursday in a head-on crash on the Moreno Valley (60) Freeway just west of Beaumont that was allegedly caused by a Corvette driver’s reckless attempt to use the right shoulder to pass other vehicles.
The collision occurred about 1:10 p.m. between Gilman Springs Road and Jack Rabbit Trail, in a sparsely populated area known as the Badlands, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The driver of the white 1993 convertible Corvette, identified as 55- year-old Mitchell Finesod of Cathedral City, was in traffic in a construction zone on state Route 60 about two miles east of Gilman Springs Road and was seen passing vehicles on the right shoulder, according to the CHP.
“The Corvette driver attempted to pass a big rig ahead of him, again using the right shoulder in a reckless manner,” CHP Officer Darren Meyer said. “He was unable to move in front of the big rig without clipping the right front wheel (of the truck)… .”
The impact sent to Corvette onto the center median K-rail and into a black Jaguar SUV that was eastbound on state Route 60, Meyer said.
The male driver and a female left rear-seat passenger in the SUV were killed, Meyer said.
“The right-front passenger and right-rear passenger of the Jaguar sustained non-life-threatening injuries and were transported by AMR (ambulance) to Riverside University Heath System (Medical Center) in Moreno Valley,” Meyer said.
Finesod, whose Corvette landed back in westbound lanes, sustained non- life-threatening injuries. He was also taken to the hospital and was in CHP custody as of Thursday night, Meyer said.
The crash closed state Route 60 between Gilman Springs Road and Interstate 10, with traffic diverted onto the interstate and Gilman Springs Road.
Westbound lanes of state Route 60 were reopened about 4:10 p.m. and eastbound lanes about 4:30 p.m., Meyer said.