On Wednesday, May 6, a motorcycle crash closed Highway 74 above the Cahuilla Tewanet Vista Point for an hour in both directions. The incident occurred at about 4:25 p.m. when Bryce Militi, 29, of Palm Desert, was riding a 2009 Kawasaki Ninja eastbound on Highway 74, 4.2 miles west of Cahuilla Drive in Pinyon.
According to Indio California Highway Patrol Public Information Officer Michael Radford, Militi had been observed passing vehicles by crossing the double-yellow line. Radford recounted that Militi made an unsafe turn and struck a guardrail causing him to be ejected from the motorcycle. Militi sustained minor injuries and was transported to Desert Regional Medical Center by Reach Helicopter. Radford noted the highway reopened for traffic at about 5:15 p.m.
In a different matter, San Gorgonio Pass CHP Public Information Officer Darren Meyer confirmed that a motor home, abandoned for more than a month on Highway 74 west of Santa Rosa Truck Trail, is in the process of being removed. The trailer, to the right of eastbound traffic in a narrow pullout, had been marked only by orange cones and could have posed some risk to distracted drivers given its size and proximity to the roadway.
Meyer confirmed that the delay in removal was because of an asbestos issue. “It’s not as if a tow company could just take it,” said Meyer. “Because of the asbestos, Caltrans had to figure out how to pay to have it removed to a landfill” and stripped of potentially hazardous material.
Meyer referred to scams from towing companies in which someone pays to have a vehicle or trailer removed, only to have the towing company dump it at night in a remote location.
“If anyone notices any suspicious activity, such as illegal dumping, contact CHP and try to get a license plate number or snap a picture of the activity,” said Meyer. He noted the cost of removing this derelict trailer, given the asbestos issue, could be significant.
In one other incident, Meyer reported a solo, non-injury vehicle crash at 5:40 p.m. Friday, May 8, on Highway 74, east of the intersection with Highway 371 in Garner Valley. There are no other details as of this writing.