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Man killed, seven injured in multi-vehicle accident

May 28, 2002|By MARIO RENTERÍA

Staff Writer

BRAWLEY — A three-vehicle accident Monday night southwest of here left one man dead and seven people injured.

The accident was reported at 11:13 on Forrester Road just south of Imler Road, stated a press release from the California Highway Patrol.

The name of the man killed was not available.

Imperial County Sheriff's Coroner Investigator Sgt. Rick Macken said the man was classified as a John Doe because investigators are not yet positive on his identity.

Macken said investigators think he might be a 40-year-old male from El Centro but his body was burned to the extent where they will need to use dental charts to identity him. He added it will take about two weeks to identity the body.

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The press release stated the man killed was driving north on Forrester approaching Imler at an unknown speed in a later model two-door compact car.

Mario Rivera, 40, of Desert Hot Springs, driving a two-door compact car, was heading south on Forrester, south of Imler, at a speed of 55 mph.

A third vehicle, a van driven by Hector Gonzalez, 42, was traveling at 55 mph heading south right behind Rivera.

Gonzalez had five passengers: Maria Gonzalez, 40, Rosa Gonzalez, 46, a 4-year-old boy, an 11-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy. Everyone in the van was from El Centro.

For an unknown reason, the unidentified man killed swerved to the southbound lanes while heading north and collided head-on with Rivera's car.

The man's vehicle then spun in a clockwise rotation into the path of Gonzalez's van. The unidentified mans' vehicle burst into flames after the collision.

Macken said investigators don't know yet if the man died from injuries sustained during the two collisions or from the fire. An autopsy was to be performed this morning to determine the cause of death.

Everyone involved in the accident other than Rivera was taken to Pioneers Memorial Hospital in Brawley with minor injuries. Rivera, who had moderate injuries, was taken to El Centro Regional Medical Center.

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

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