OCOTILLO — Sisters en route to Yuma veered off I-8 near In-Ko-Pah Park Road on Friday, June 7. The vehicle rolled and the eldest sister succumbed to her injuries.
Leonila Aguilar, 73, of Yuma, was driving from San Diego to Arizona around 8:30 a.m., with her sisters in her 2011 Nissan Rouge, according to a CHP report.
Evidence on scene placed the Nissan in the #1 lane of traffic where it appears the vehicle moved to the left and off the roadway before moving quickly to the right and into the open desert where the vehicle rolled over several times before coming to rest in a trench on its side facing west, per the report.
The release said the driver, Aguilar, suffered serious injuries. The front passenger, 70-year-old Rosa Huante of Yuma, suffered moderate injuries and complained of pain. The left rear passenger, an 83-year-old out of Encinitas, suffered fatal injuries as a result of the accident.
The accident was not witnessed the report said, but was heard by runners on the west side of Interstate 8 who hurried over in attempt to help the passengers of the vehicle and called 911.
The driver and passengers were wearing their seat belts at the time of the accident and alcohol/drugs were not a factor in this collision, the release said.
Huante was transported by AMR ambulance to El Centro Regional Medical Center and Aguilar was transported by Reach Air to Scripps Mercy Hospital for treatment of injuries sustained from the accident, according to the CHP release.
CHP Officer Javier Amezcua was near the area traveling to San Diego for training and responded after hearing of the collision. The good Samaritans on scene assisted Amezcua in extricating the parties for treatment without further injury until other units arrived on scene.
"Thank you. I couldn't have removed the occupants of the vehicle without your help,” Officer Amezcua said in the release to the group for their help.
The CHP reminded motorists in the news release that the use of 911 for reporting unusual events or pedestrians on the county’s highways and freeways helps provide the highest level of safety, service and security to the county of Imperial. They expressed their gratitude for the continued support of the public in keeping roadways safe for everyone.
The cause of death and this collision remain under investigation.