Crash victims' names, more details released

April 16, 2002|By MARIO RENTERÍA

Staff Writer

CALEXICO — California Highway Patrol investigators have released more information regarding an accident sequence that left three people dead just northwest of here Monday.

Killed were Imperial Irrigation District employee Richard Soto, 46, of Calexico, Carlos Rodriguez, 51, of Mexicali and Dolores Garcia, 56, of Watsonville.

The accident happened about 3:30 a.m. at the intersection of Cole and Dogwood roads.

According to a Highway Patrol press release Soto was driving his IID pickup west on Cole Road approaching Dogwood Road at an unknown speed as a van driven by Arturo Lopez, 49, of Calexico was heading north on Dogwood Road at about 55 mph. There were five passengers in Lopez's vehicle.


Soto, for an unknown reason, slowed down but reportedly failed to stop for a posted stop sign. He made a left turn into the path of the van.

The press release states the front end of the pickup collided with the front of the van. The van flipped onto its side while the pickup spun and came to rest in the northbound lanes.

Soto exited his vehicle and checked on the people in the van, then walked into the southbound lane, where he was struck and killed by another van driven by Timoteo Magallanes, 58, of El Centro, heading south at a speed of about 45 to 50 mph.

Rodriguez and Garcia were passengers in the first van. Rodriguez was wearing a seat belt while Garcia was not.

The remaining passengers in the first van were Rosario Lopez, 27, Carlos Martinez, 43 and Miguel Lopez, 42, all of Mexicali.

The driver of the van, Arturo Lopez, suffered minor injuries. Rosario Lopez suffered a sprained neck. Martinez suffered major injuries, as did Miguel Lopez.

Miguel Lopez and Rosario Lopez were taken to Pioneers Memorial Hospital in Brawley. Arturo Lopez and Carlos Martinez were taken to El Centro Regional Medical Center.

A spokeswoman at El Centro Regional said Carlos Martinez and Arturo Lopez were treated and released. Information on Rosario Lopez's and MiguelLopez's conditions was not available this morning.

Carlos Martinez and Miguel Lopez were not wearing seat belts. Magallanes was wearing a seat belt and suffered no injuries.

>> Staff Writer Mario Rentería can be reached at 337-3441.

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