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CHP warns drivers to yield at deadly East Valley intersection

THERMAL, Calif. - For miles you can spot memorials lining the roads of Grapefruit Boulevard and 62nd Avenue in Thermal.

Only two stop signs yield traffic at the highway intersection where cars and semi-trucks top 55 mph. However, California Highway Patrol officer Joe Zagorski said it's not speed that's the issue -- it's drivers not obeying the signs.

"Because some people are not doing that or try to run the stop, they're jeopardizing other people's lives and in many cases taking them," said Zagorski.

That's what officials say caused Tuesday's three-car pileup that killed 51-year-old Jose Anguiano-Campos of Coachella.

Officers admit the intersection has seen its fair share of crashes. A nearby memorial honors two men killed in a November crash back in 2011. Also, CHP stats released between 2000 and 2008 -- show there were 15 crashes resulting in one person who was killed.

"The fatalities we've seen at this intersection, people failed to stop at all," said Zagorski.

That's why neighbors are asking the county to put at stop light at the deadly intersection.

"It is scary for the families and everybody that lives there or passes. It has a lot of traffic. We do need a light there because there is a lot of traffic," said Yolanda Lopez, a Thermal resident.

Officers warn that a stop light might not be enough.

"If they'd run a stop sign, they'd probably run a red light. I don't think that'd make much of a difference. Just obey the signs posted," said Zagorski.

Riverside County Supervisor John Benoit's office said it's investigating what action is necessary and will report back with its findings.

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