Idyllwild man involved in fatal traffic incident

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At about 5:40 p.m. Monday, May 8, Phillip Wills, 62, of Idyllwild, was driving his 2003 Honda Pilot eastbound on Highway 74 just west of Doe Canyon Road at mile marker 38.66, near Cranston Guard Station.

According to the press release from the California Highway Patrol, Bernardo Santana-Brito, 52, of Huntington Beach, was driving his 2001 Toyota Tundra westbound when, for unknown reasons, he allowed his vehicle to drift onto the right dirt shoulder. Santana-Brito lost control of the truck and slid into the opposing lane of traffic directly in front of Wills’ Honda.

Wills saw the truck coming toward him, swerved to the right, but could not avoid colliding with the truck. According to the CHP narrative, the right front of of the truck collided with the front of the Honda causing the truck to overturn.

Santana-Brito was not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected from his truck in the collision and suffered fatal injuries. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Wills was wearing his seatbelt, suffered moderate injuries and was transported by Mercy Air to Riverside University Health System Medical Center in Moreno Valley for treatment.

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