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CHP: Sleeping driver sparked fatal Thermal crash

Thermal collision leaves one dead

THERMAL, Calif. - Police and firefighters were on the scene of a deadly traffic collision in Thermal Friday morning.

The California Highway Patrol reported that two vehicles collided just south of the intersection of Airport Boulevard and Harrison Street at 5:34 a.m.

One person was killed in the wreck, and debris was scattered over the roadway. The Riverside County Coroner's Office identified the victim as Socorro Verduzco, 46, of Coachella.

According to news release to the CHP, the 17-year-old driver of a 2001 Toyota Corolla admitted to falling asleep and drifting into oncoming traffic. The Corolla then struck a pick up truck head-on. 

Officers said Verduzco, the middle passenger of the truck, was thrown from the wreckage and died at the scene. Two other passengers in the truck and the driver of the Corolla were rushed to Desert Regional Medical Center with unknown injuries.

CHP wrote in the news release that Verduzco was not wearing a seatbelt.

Both roads were closed in the area early Friday morning, and motorists were urged to stay away as police investigated. The roads were reopened to traffic shortly before 8:00 a.m.

Stay with KESQ News Channel 3 for updates.


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