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Man dies in vehicle accident

May 13, 2002|By MARIO RENTERÍA, Staff Writer

SALTON CITY — California Highway Patrol officers are investigating an accident that left a 22-year-old Gardena man dead Saturday night northwest of here.

Pedro Jeronimo Ramirez was killed when his pickup rolled several times on Highway 86 near Coombs Road, said Imperial County Sheriff's Coroner Investigator Deputy Gary Hayes.

The accident was reported at 9:35 p.m. Saturday, according to a press release from the Highway Patrol.

The press release stated Ramirez was heading north on Highway 86 approaching Coombs Road driving a late-model pickup. For an unknown reason Ramirez allowed his vehicle to drift onto the dirt center median.

Ramirez, after driving about 200 feet on the median, swerved back onto the road but lost control of his truck and it slid sideways in a northern direction.


Ramirez's vehicle then slid onto the dirt center median again and overturned several times. His pickup came to rest on its roof in the fast lane of the southbound lanes of Highway 86.

Meanwhile, Loreto Soza, 50, of Mexicali, was traveling south on the highway at a speed of nearly 65 mph. Soza saw the overturned pickup when he was about 60 feet from it. He braked but his car collided with the truck.

Soza's vehicle burst into flames and the fire engulfed the car but not the pickup.

Ramirez, who was dead at the scene, was not wearing his seat belt, according to the press release, but he was not ejected from the truck, said Hayes. He added the Salton City Fire Department had to extricate the body from the mangled vehicle.

An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday morning.

Soza received minor injuries. He was treated at the scene. Soza was wearing his seat belt at the time of the accident.

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

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