COACHELLA (CNS) – A man was fatally injured after being ejected from his vehicle when he drove up a dirt embankment and overturned down the hillside into a dirt wash area east of Coachella, authorities said Tuesday.
Fire crews responded at 6:13 p.m. Monday to westbound Interstate 10 near Milepost 63 to a report of a fatal traffic collision, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.
A man, identified by the Riverside County coroner’s office as 32-year- old Rex Orton of Desert Hot Springs, was driving a 1994 Toyota pickup westbound on I-10 at around 70 mph, according to Officer David Torres of the California Highway Patrol.
“For reasons still under investigation, the pickup made an unsafe turn to the right and drove off the roadway in a northwesterly direction, up a dirt embankment, then overturned down a steep hillside into a dry dirt wash area,” Torres said in a statement. “The driver did not appear to be wearing his seat belt and as a result of the crash, the driver was ejected from the Toyota.”
Orton was declared deceased when fire personnel arrived at the scene, according to fire officials.
Torres said that alcohol and/or drugs might have been a factor in the crash, though it’s still under investigation.
Anyone with information on the fatal crash was asked to call CHP Officer Maclis at 760-772-5300.
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