Hit and run on 243; fatality on 74

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At 9:35 p.m., Monday, March 19, a hit-and-run collision occurred on Highway 243 near Mountain Center, according to a California Highway Patrol report. The driver of a gray 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee, going south on 243, is unknown.

For an unknown reason, the Jeep veered over the double-yellow line. After the collision, the driver of the Jeep fled on foot in a southbound direction.

The other vehicle involved was driven by Ralph Hoetger, 63, of Idyllwild. Hoetger was driving a gray Toyota Tacoma northbound on Highway 243. When the Jeep crossed over the double-yellow line into his lane, Hoetger tried to veer to the right but was unable to avoid the collision and the two vehicles collided in the northbound lane.

Hoetger said he was in pain but there were no visible injuries so he was not transported to the hospital. Officer Gonzales, CHP San Gorgonio Pass office, is investigating this incident.

At 9:20 p.m. Saturday, March 24, a 76-year-old man (name withheld until family has been notified) of Mountain Center died in a traffic crash still under investigation.

The deceased had been riding a 2008 Harley Davidson Roadster motorcycle westbound on Highway 74, 0.3 miles east of Scenic Drive in Pinyon. He was transported by American Medical Response to Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage where he succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at 11:12 p.m.

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