Melting snow and ice patches continue to create difficult driving conditions for Hill residents and visitors.
During the past week, beginning on Wednesday, Jan. 13, there were four incidents, some resulting in serious injuries, according to California Highway Patrol public information officers Darren Meyer of the San Gorgonio Pass Station and Mike Radford of the Indio Station.
At 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 13, Luis Romero, 17, of Idyllwild, was driving his blue 2002 BMW coupe westbound on Highway 74, 3.7 miles east of McCall Road in Mountain Center, when he drifted into the opposing lane of traffic, overcorrected, struck the mountain and turned over. Romero was uninjured. No other vehicles were involved. But Romero was cited for driving without a license.
At 11:55 p.m. Friday, Jan. 15, Yi Zhao, 31, of Lake Forest, was driving his white 2015 Mercedes Benz eastbound 1 mile west of Apple Canyon Road when he hit snow and ice on the road, lost control, struck the mountain, crossed into the opposing land and overturned. The CHP report indicated Zhao was going too fast for road conditions. He was uninjured and no other vehicles were involved in the incident.
At 8:56 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 16, Wei Patton, 65, of Warner Springs, was driving his 2015 Honda Fit westbound on Highway 74, 1.7 miles west of Vista Point, when he crossed the double-yellow line and collided head-on with a 2014 Mazda CX 5 driven by Dana Pinto, 40, of Temecula. A third vehicle, a 2010 Ford Edge, driven by Jason Botens, 40, of San Clemente, subsequently collided with one of the other vehicles (the report was not clear) and sustained minor, front-end damage.
According to Radford, Patton was cited for crossing the double-yellow line and found at fault. He was seriously injured and transported by CHP Copter H60 to Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs. Pinto had minor injuries and was transported by ground ambulance to Desert Regional. Botens was not injured.
At 7:05 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 17, Savanah Loutzenhiser, 20, of Idyllwild, was driving her 2007 white Toyota Scion west on Highway 74, 2-1/2 miles east of Bee Canyon Road, when she drifted off the road onto the shoulder and hit the mountainside. The CHP report said Loutzenhiser made an unsafe turning movement and was unable to control her vehicle. She complained of some pain but did not request transport.