Two girls (9 and 12) and a woman (31-year-old Cecilia Villalobos) were killed and three other children and a teenager suffered major injuries Sunday morning in a collision on the eastbound 10 Freeway near Palm Springs.
According to police, all people killed and injured in the horrific car crash were family members from Anaheim traveling in a 2001 Chevrolet Suburban. The driver and lone occupant of the other vehicle, a 2022 Tesla Model 3, was not reported injured.
A total of nine people were in the Suburban, which had seat belts for eight. One person had a moderate injury and one had a minor injury. Six were ejected and one person was partially ejected when the SUV overturned.
“Preliminary information indicates not all occupants in the Chevrolet Suburban were using safety restraint systems or seatbelts,” the California Highway Patrol stated.
Police report that the people who died were girls ages 10 and 12 and a 31-year-old woman, identified as Cecilia Villalobos. The four surviving children — girls ages 3, 7 and 11, and a 15-year-old boy — had major injuries. The 39-year-old driver had moderate injuries and the 41-year-old right front passenger had minor injuries.
The occupants of the Suburban included parents, their children, and some cousins. None of their names were publicly announced at the time of this post.
The fatal collision was reported at about 7:24 a.m. west of Haugen-Lehmann Way in the Whitewater area. Results from the preliminary investigation suggest that the Suburban was in the No. 2 lane and the Tesla, driven by a 31-year-old male resident of Indio, was in the No. 3 lane when for unknown reasons they collided. Police believe that the driver of the Suburban lost control and crashed into the center divider.
An air ambulance carried two of the injured victims to a trauma center. Three others were driven in an ambulance to a hospital.
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