UPDATED: 06/29/2016 12:45 p.m. With sheriff’s press release and coroner’s identification
UPDATED: 06/28/2016 4:20 p.m. With updated information, confirmation of fatality from CHP and Cal Fire
CALIMESA – Multiple law enforcement agencies and emergency first responders from two counties responded to the report two-car traffic collision that occurred on San Timoteo Canyon Road, east of Entranz Boulevard and west of Palmer Avenue, according to a California Highway Patrol incident log and Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Public Information Officer Jennifer Fuhrman.
Coroner’s officials later identified the driver killed in the accident as Julia Atkins, 36, of Calimesa. The report indicated Atkin’s time of injury as 3:08 p.m. She was pronounced dead at 3:24 p.m.
The head-on traffic collision reportedly occurred Tuesday, June 28, and was first reported to CHP officials at 3:11 p.m. Callers reported there was at least one child in one of two vehicles involved in the deadly accident.
The traffic collision was originally reported to the California Highway Patrol. However, CHP officers determined the collision occurred within the city limits of Calimesa and the sheriff’s department assumed the investigation.
“One vehicle was a small compact car, and the other was a pickup truck,” according to Riverside Sheriff’s Sergeant Richard Carroll. “The driver of the small compact car…was found within the vehicle and pronounced deceased at the scene.”
“A Traffic Reconstruction Team responded to the scene and are investigating the collision,” Carroll explained. “The preliminary investigation revealed the compact car was traveling eastbound on San Timoteo Canyon Road. The car veered into the westbound lane and collided head-on with the pickup truck.”
Officers and emergency crews started arriving at the crash scene within minutes of the initially dispatched call and began assessing the injuries of those involved in the accident.
Fire personnel from a Department of Corrections Fire Crew reported at 3:21 p.m. that Atkins was trapped inside one of the vehicles and despite their best efforts, they were unable to extricate her from inside the mangled wreckage of the vehicle. Newman later wrote in a press release that two people required extrication.
At least one of the two involved vehicles was reportedly blocking both sides of the roadway. Motorists trying to get around the wreckage were reportedly leaving the roadway or turning around and returning the direction they had come.
By 3:30 p.m., both lanes of traffic were closed and officials diverted all traffic away from the accident scene. Westbound traffic along San Timoteo Canyon Road was diverted at Palmer Avenue. Eastbound traffic was diverted at Redlands Boulevard.
At just after 4 p.m., Newman confirmed in a press release that one person had succumbed to their injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene. “The Incident Commander has requested two additional ambulances for a total of four patients. Two patients will require extrication. San Timoteo Canyon Road is completely blocked as a result of this incident.”
Newman later advised paramedics transported two of the injured victims to local area hospitals by ground ambulance with moderate injuries and one was transported with minor injuries. “Resources will have an extended commitment time,” according to Newman.
San Timoteo Canyon Road remained closed for several hours in both directions between Palmer Avenue and Redlands Boulevard while deputies conducted an accident investigation.
Anyone with information regarding this accident or who may have witnessed the collision is encouraged to contact Deputy Decker at the Cabazon Sheriff’s Station at (951) 922-7100. After hours and on weekends, the Department can be reached at (951) 776-1099. Callers can refer to incident file number CM161800013 and can remain anonymous.
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