Authorities Wednesday were attempting to piece together details of a deadly crash in the San Gorgonio Pass north of Idyllwild that killed a 63-year-old man, whose remains were found sometime after the wreck happened.
California Highway Patrol investigators are not yet certain when the victim, whose identity has not been released, went over the side of state Route 243, in the area of Poppet Flats, roughly halfway between Idyllwild and Banning.
CHP Officer Darren Meyer said the victim’s 2010 Toyota FJ Cruiser was spotted by a motorist about 6:30 p.m. Monday in thick brush at the bottom of a steep embankment.
Meyer said the witness had stopped to snap photographs of the panoramic view encompassing the San Jacinto Wilderness Area and surrounding mountains within the San Bernardino National Forest. When he looked down, he spotted the overturned SUV.
The man called 911, and Riverside County Fire Department personnel went to the scene, hiking down to the Toyota but not finding the driver, according to Meyer.
He said a sheriff’s K9 unit was summoned, and deputies found the victim two hours later, about 200 feet from where the SUV had come to rest.
Meyer said the crash remains under investigation, and anyone with information was asked to contact the CHP’s San Gorgonio station at (951) 769-2000.