Just after 6 a.m. Monday, Aug. 15, first responders, including fire personnel and California Highway Patrol deputies, arrived at the scene of an attempted suicide on Highway 243 just above Smith Creek Bridge.
An as-yet unnamed 55-year-old male, who had earlier been reported missing from Orange County, had driven his white Toyota Tacoma into an embankment, starting a small vegetation fire that threatened to consume his vehicle. The man had his windows rolled up, had his doors locked and continued to depress his accelerator pedal even after authorities arrived, according to CHP’s initial report.
Fire personnel put out the fire and CHP deputies broke the vehicle’s windows in order to remove the man. He was uninjured and was transported by American Medical Response to San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital in Banning for psychiatric evaluation. CHP impounded his vehicle for safekeeping. By 8:30 a.m., the roadway was fully cleared, according to Darren Meyer, CHP Pass Station public information officer.
At 3:05 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13, Kimberly Sullivan, 49, of Los Angeles, was driving her 2012 silver Honda Fit east on Pine Crest Avenue in Idyllwild when, after stopping at a stop sign, she continued into the intersection of North Circle Drive. Sullivan’s vehicle collided with a 2008 black Harley Davidson motorcycle ridden by Christopher Mellot, 55, of Mountain Center. Mellot, with a female passenger, Gwyneth Mellot, 62, was proceeding southbound on North Circle at the time of the collision.
Gwyneth complained of pain in the leg and was transported by Idyllwild Fire personnel to Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage.
There were no other injuries or other vehicles involved in the incident. Alcohol was not suspected as a cause.