Two injured in collision on Highway 111 and Keystone

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EL CENTRO – Two people were injured Tuesday in a vehicle collision between a semi-truck and an auto at the intersection of southbound SR-111 and Keystone Road, according to a California Highway Patrol news release.

The accident occurred at approximately at 3:53 p.m. when Tennessee resident Joseph Kretschmar, 42, was reportedly driving a 2017 Freightliner southbound on SR-111 in the fast lane of traffic, according to the release.

As Kretschmar was approaching the intersection of SR-111 and Keystone Road, southbound traffic was stopped for a red light, witnesses reported. At that point, Kretschmar allegedly drove the Freightliner through the intersection against the red light just as Heber resident Jose E. Sanchez, 25, was driving a ’91 Ford westbound through the intersection at Keystone Road, reports stated.

The CHP news release stated that the front of the Freightliner collided with the right side of the Ford causing it to spin out into the center median.

Sanchez’s passenger, El Centro resident, Porfirio Perez, 36, was ejected from the vehicle and a preliminary investigation suggested he was not using his seat belt at the time of the collision. The Freightliner overturned onto its side and came to rest on the southwest corner of the intersection onto the dirt shoulder, according to reports.

The Freightliner reportedly spilled materials, oil, transmission fluid and coolant on to the dirt shoulder and a hazardous materials crew was requested for cleanup, said the release. Although an air ambulance was called to transport the injured Perez, it was reported that it could not transport, therefore Perez was taken to Pioneers Memorial Hospital for treatment.

A passenger in the Freightliner, Christy Kretschmar, 46, of Tennessee, was also transported for a complaint of pain to her back, the report stated.

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