Strong winds flip over big rig

Road reopened after one vehicle crashes into the truck, catches fire

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - Highway 111 westbound was reopened to traffic Monday morning after a collision closed it in the westbound lanes just west of Palm Springs shortly after 5 a.m.

Police and firefighters were called to the area just west of Overture Drive after high winds flipped a big rig onto its side blocking the road.

Authorities said 40-year-old Jose Collins was driving the semitrailer in the  No. 2 lane at about 45 mph when he lost control and the vehicle overturned. About a minute later, 58-year-old Yonason Denebeim of Palm Springs crashed his Toyota Camry into the semitrailer while driving in the No. 1. lane at about 65 mph.

The California Highway Patrol said his 12-year-old son was also in the car at the time. Both Yonason and his son were taken to Desert Regional Medical Center with minor injuries.

Collins wasn't injured in the accident.

Winds in the area were sustained at 30 mph with gusts up to 45 mph.

CHP said the wind is a possible factor in the crash but isn't believed to be the sole cause of the collision. Deputies said whenever conditions make it difficult to maintain control of a vehicle, drivers are advised to exit the roadway and find a place of safety until the conditions subside.

Palm Springs police were called in to close the road. It was reopened shortly after 7 a.m.


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