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Mexican nationals arrested for hit-and-run

February 04, 2002|By DARREN SIMON, Staff Writer

YUHA DESERT — Two Mexican nationals were arrested for their alleged involvement in a hit-and-run accident Sunday in this west Imperial County area that left three people injured.

The accident occurred shortly after 8 a.m. on Highway 98 where it crosses Pinto Wash in the Yuha Desert.

Arrested were Ismael Ramirez Serrano, 18, and Ismael Ramirez Mendoza, 19, both of Puebla, Mexico. Both were in the county jail this morning with bail set at $5,000. Information on whether the men are related was unavailable this morning.

According to the California Highway Patrol a car driven by one of the men was traveling west on Highway 98 west of Mount Signal Road as a pickup driven by Teodoro Martinez, 38, of Lake Elsinore was heading west on the highway through the Yuha Desert.

The driver of the car overtook the pickup, slowed, then drove onto the right shoulder in Pinto Wash.


As the pickup approached, the driver of the car attempted a U-turn, causing the vehicles to collide. After the collision both men in the car fled, running north into the desert.

Several U.S. Border Patrol agents responded and took the two men into custody.

They were later identified as Mexican nationals. There was no information on whether they were in the country legally. Investigators did not know which of the two men was driving the car at the time of the accident.

Three people in the pickup were injured. Martinez complained of pain; Elena Borquez, 35, of Wildomar suffered a fractured finger and had other pain, and a 2-year-old boy from Lake Elsinore complained of pains. There was no report on whether they were taken to an area hospital.

The case remained under investigation.

>> Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

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