EL CENTRO - According to CHP press release, on February 17, 2020, approximately 5:00 a.m., Ruiz was driving his Chevrolet eastbound on SR-78, east of Whitlock Road through a left curve in the roadway. Smith was driving his Ford westbound on SR-78, approaching Ruiz’s Chevrolet.
As both vehicles were within the curved portion of the roadway, they collided head on. Both vehicles came to rest on the north shoulder of SR-78. Both drivers sustained unknown major injuries and were flown via helicopter to Desert Regional Hospital. This collision remains under investigation.