Two accident victims upgraded, third critical

January 30, 2001|By MARCY MISNER, Staff Writer

SAN DIEGO — The conditions of two of three children involved in a head on-collision that killed four people near Winterhaven Friday have improved while a third child remained critical, according to a Children's Hospital official here.

Anthony Castro Jimenez, 7, of Holtville, was taken off a ventilator this weekend and his condition was upgraded to serious, said a nursing supervisor at the hospital this morning.

Anthony's brother, David Castro Jimenez, 8, is still in critical condition, the nurse said.

Both suffered major injuries and were air-lifted to Children's Hospital in San Diego after a head-on collision near Winterhaven Friday morning that left both drivers and two passengers dead.

A child in the other car involved in the crash, Arthur Steven Villavicencio, 2, of Calipatria suffered major injuries and was flown to Children's Hospital. His condition was upgraded to serious and he also has been taken off a ventilator, the nursing supervisor said.


John Paul Flores, 22, of Calipatria was driving west on Highway 78, eight miles east of Ogilby Road about 11:30 a.m. Friday in a sedan when he passed a slower-moving car in a dip in the hilly terrain. In the car with him were Arthur and Arthur's brother, Juan Luis Villavicencio, 6, of Calipatria.

At the crest of the hill, Flores' car crashed into a sport-utility vehicle, driven by Jesus Castro Castro, 51, of Holtville.

Both drivers apparently were unable to take any evasive action and the vehicles struck head-on in the eastbound lane, Highway Patrol Officer Larry Matthews has said.

Flores and Juan were killed in the crash.

David and Anthony were in the sport-utility vehicle driven by Castro. Also in the sport-utility vehicle was Socorro Castro, 57, and Jesus' wife, Raquel Jimenez Castro, 40, both of Holtville. Jesus Castro Castro was killed in the crash.

Raquel Castro suffered major injuries and was taken to Palo Verde Community Hospital in Blythe. Information on her condition was not available from hospital staff this morning.

Socorro Magaña Castro, 57, of Holtville died en route to Palo Verde hospital.

Information on Anthony and David's relationship to the others in the vehicle they were in was unavailable.

Highway Patrol officials reported John Paul Flores was the uncle of Juan and Arthur. The car Flores was driving was registered to Juan and Arthur's mother, Veronica Flores of Blythe, who was not in the vehicle at the time of the accident. The boys' father lives in Imperial.

The only person in the crash to escape relatively unscathed was Luis David Delgadillo, 2, who lived with Socorro Castro, according to the Highway Patrol.

Some fragments of glass were embedded in Luis' eye but he was walking around after emergency crews arrived, Matthews said.

Luis was seated in the bench seat behind the passenger seat in the sport-utility vehicle at the time of the crash, Matthews said.

All of the occupants in the sport-utility vehicle were wearing seat belts. Emergency crews could not determine whether the occupants in Flores' vehicle were wearing seat belts.

Staff Writer Marcy Misner can be reached at 337-3441.

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