WHITEWATER, Calif. - One person is dead and two others seriously injured after a car overturned Sunday morning into an embankment on the I-10 near Whitewater.
CHP Officer Darren Meyer said a black 2003 Ford Explorer was driving west on I-10 after 7 a.m. Sunday when the driver lost control for unknown reasons, veering off the side of the road and striking a tree on the right side of the highway. There was significant damage to the front of the car, and both the driver and the passengers were trapped inside.
Meyer said the driver was pronounced dead on scene -- a 57-year-old woman from Brawley. A 76-year-old woman from Ohio was in the passenger seat and a 61-year-old man was in the back seat. Both passengers were taken to a hospital with serious injuries.
"The fire department had to actually crawl on top of (the car) and cut the passengers out," Meyer said. "They had to use the jaws of life."
It happened near the Haugen Lehmann Way exit on I-10 West. CalFire said it was difficult terrain for emergency crews, with ravines and trees, as responders tried to rescue those three passengers.
Officials have ruled out drugs or alcohol as a cause of the crash, and are now looking into possible driver fatigue or mechanical failure. The car will be impounded and inspected.
"We remind people to slow down, drive safe, be carefu,l wear your seat belt -- but these collisions still do occur," Meyer said.
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