Authorities Sunday were looking for a suspected hit-and-run driver who crashed into a tree, killing one of his passengers, and who then fled the scene.
The crash occurred just before 11 p.m. Thursday in the 88000 block of Avenue 61, near Fillmore Street, when an eastbound Ford Expedition veered to the right and off the roadway, smashing into a palm tree, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The two passengers in the Expedition were not wearing seatbelts and were taken to John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital with major injuries, the CHP said.
Felipe Contreras, 24, of Thermal was pronounced dead early Friday at Indio hospital, according to the Riverside County coroner’s office.
A second injured passenger was identified only as a 31-year-old Thermal man.
The driver fled the scene of the crash, and authorities urged anyone with information about the crash to contact the Indio CHP Office at 760-772- 5300 and ask for Officer Kemp.
Investigators said alcohol and/or drugs may have played a factor in the crash.