Borrego Sun - Since 1949

Five Dead in Salton City Crash


Last updated 1/17/2023 at 12:24pm

Five people, including two young children, were killed on Jan. 14 when their car crashed into a semi near the Salton Sea.

The crash occurred at around 5:15 p.m. at the intersection of 81st Avenue and State Route 86 in Oasis, according to a California Highway Patrol press release.

The Jetta was driving eastbound on 81st Avenue and entered the intersection as a semi was driving southbound on State Route 86 without yielding to it, causing the semi to collide with the Jetta’s left side. The release stated that it was not clear why the Jetta entered the intersection without yielding.

In a tweet Saturday, the Riverside County Fire Department reported that the people inside the Jetta became trapped and had to be extricated from the Jetta. However, all five occupants were later pronounced dead at the scene.

Some of the victims’ names have yet to be released by the Riverside County Coroner. However, California Highway Patrol said the driver was a 26-year-old woman from Thermal, and the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department identified three of the victims via press release Sunday as 24-year-old Coachella resident Victor Manuel Marmulejo-Caurenta, 7-year-old Thermal resident Matteo Emmanuel Robledo-Felix and 6-year-old Thermal resident Ariadne Isabella Robledo-Felix.

The agency also said the driver of the semi was uninjured and was determined to not have been under-the-influence at the time of the crash. However, the release did not say if the same assessment had been made about the driver of the Jetta.

There is a stop sign on eastbound 81st Avenue where it intersects with State Route 86, although visibility of it is slightly obstructed by overgrown plants. A Desert Sun photographer who visited the scene of the crash said skid marks going off the left side of State Route 86 into the median between the north and southbound lanes of State Route 86 remained visible early in the afternoon of the following day, Jan. 15, suggesting the vehicles came to a stop there. There is no stop sign at the intersection on southbound State Route 86.

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