Victim Identified in Fatal Crash on I-10 Monday - Palm Springs News, Weather, Traffic, Breaking News

Victim Identified in Fatal Crash on I-10 Monday

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Cactus City, CA -


Authorities identified the victim of a rollover crash on Interstate 10, east of the Coachella Valley, as a 94-year- old Arizona woman.

Leona Mae Burns, of Scottsdale, died at the scene of the crash that occurred at 9:45 a.m. Monday on the eastbound I-10, west of Frontage Road, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Mike Radford.

Burns was a passenger in a 2014 Chevrolet Cruze that drifted off the left side of the road and tumbled down a dirt and rock embankment before overturning and coming to rest on its left side. She was pronounced dead about 10:30 a.m., according to the coroner's office.

The Chevrolet's driver, 73-year-old David Collins, and another passenger, a 65-year-old woman, were injured in the crash, were taken to Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs for treatment of moderate injuries, Radford said. Both survivors are from Mesa, Arizona, he said.

Radford said neither passenger was wearing a seatbelt. Alcohol and drugs were not factors in the crash, which remains under investigation, he said.

The California Highway Patrol is investigating another deadly accident on the 10 freeway east of the Coachella Valley. This latest accident happened on Monday just before 10 a.m. not far from the Cactus City Rest Area. 

"There were three occupants inside that vehicle for unknown reasons it traveled into the center divider area where it drove down an embankment into a ditch area unfortunately one of those occupants was pronounced deceased at the scene the other two occupants were transported to Desert Regional Medical Center with moderate to major injuries," says CHP Officer Michael Radford.

This is the third deadly accident in less than a week on this stretch of road.

Radford says this is above average and most of the deadly accidents this year have one thing in common, "One of the big problems that we've had with these fatal collisions over this whole year is people not wearing their seat belts, it's such a simple thing it only takes a few seconds." 

People who drive this stretch of road say there are several factors that make it dangerous. 

"Especially with climbing and stuff trucks all of a sudden go real slow and going downhill they'll go faster so just being aware that there's trucks and being more careful," says Joy Vanveen. 

"I've gone back and forth between California and Arizona for probably 17 years and that's something that you always have to pay attention to are wind gusts because it can really pick up and it can be unexpected all of a sudden and it can cause you to veer into another lane," says Joell Dunwall who is traveling to see her parents for the holiday.

But the CHP and all drivers gave this advice, slow down. 

"You just need to take a deep breath and think about it and it's more important to arrive at your destination than it is to be a statistic on the roadside," says Jerry Cassidy.

The CHP will also be on their maximum enforcement period from Thursday through the weekend, so there will be extra officers out on the road to ensure the safety of all drivers. 

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