A man apparently nodded off today at the wheel of his SUV, which plowed into a row of parked cars near the U.S. Border Patrol’s checkpoint in Temecula, leaving his passenger seriously injured and several cars badly damaged, a California Highway Patrol officer said.
The wreck happened around 8:30 a.m. on northbound Interstate 15, near Rainbow Canyon Boulevard, according to CHP Officer Nathan Baer.
He said 20-year-old David Arriaga of Riverside was at the wheel of his 2002 Chevrolet Suburban, going about 65 mph, when he momentarily dozed off, allowing the SUV to veer across all lanes of traffic and slam into nine parked vehicles.
“These impacts caused major damage to the Chevrolet,” Baer said.
“Arriaga’s only passenger, who was seated in the right front seat, sustained major injuries. The damage to the parked vehicles ranged from minor to major. A Chevrolet Avalanche was knocked onto its side, and a Mercedes was pushed all the way (into a) fence.”
The crash occurred in sight of a CHP truck inspection facility, Baer said.
“This collision was avoidable. If you feel tired and fatigued, it is not worth it to push your limits,” the officer said. “We are very fortunate that nobody was killed.”
Arriaga was not arrested.
The crash remains under investigation.