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NEEDLES: Hwy. 95 head-on crash kills SUV passenger

NEEDLES: Hwy. 95 head-on crash kills SUV passenger


A hydroplaning SUV collided head-on with a big-rig along a Colorado River highway, killing the SUV’s 61-year-old passenger, say California Highway Patrol and San Bernardino County coroner’s officials.

Mexicali resident Maria Del Carmen Villela-Mejia died at the scene of the 9:11 p.m. wreck Monday, July 20, along Highway 95, 6-1/2 miles north of Goffs Road. The area is nearly 20 miles north of Needles.

Villela-Mejia was riding in a 2007 Ford Edge driven by a man, whose identity was not available Tuesday.

“He hydroplaned and spun out,” said� CHP Officer Tami Mauch.

Despite recent rains, that stretch of highway was dry at the time of the wreck, but is near a desert wash.

“Out of nowhere, the wash opened up, and water started flowing across the roadway,” said Mauch.

The northbound SUV spun into the oncoming lane where a trucker was unable to avoid the crash, she said.

The crew of a medical evacuation helicopter flew the SUV driver to a Las Vegas hospital, Mauch said, for treatment of a cut on his right eyebrow and pain in his abdomen and one shoulderblade.

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