WHITEWATER, Calif. - A woman killed in a crash on I-10 near Whitewater Sunday morning has been identified.
57-year-old Desiree Wager of Brawley was pronounced dead on scene.
Two passengers in the vehicle, a 61-year-old Brawley man and a great 76-year-old Oregon woman, sustained moderate injuries in the crash. All three were wearing seatbelts.
The vehicle, a black 2003 Ford Explorer driven by Wager, was heading westbound on the freeway at 7:11 a.m when the driver lost control for unknown reasons, veering off the north shoulder and road edge, off the road and into an embankment, 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 passengers were trapped inside.
"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. The vehicle was traveling 70 miles per hour at the time of the crash, according to CHP.
The crash remains under investigation.
"We remind people to slow down, drive safe, be careful, wear your seat belt -- but these collisions still do occur," Meyer said.
Stay with News Channel 3 as we continue to track this breaking story.
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