A 23-year-old former high school football player was killed in a hit-and-run crash in Desert Hot Springs early Saturday.
The crash occurred just after midnight on Palm Drive north of Varner Road and claimed the life of former Shadow Hills High School student and football player Isaiah Ortega-Dage.
According to the California Highway Patrol, Ortega-Dage was riding in a vehicle with a female driver when they stopped between the right lane and right shoulder. He then got out and walked to the driver’s side of the vehicle and was struck by an oncoming pickup while standing in the right-hand lane.
Ortega-Dage, a resident of Indio, died at the scene 14 minutes after being struck by the pickup, according the Riverside County coroner’s office.
The CHP said the man driving the pickup did not stop at the scene but was found by authorities a short distance away and was allegedly intoxicated.
“The Knights football family has lost one of their own,” Shadow Hills football coach Alex Esquibe told the Desert Sun. “Isaiah’s years at Shadow Hills were the years the foundation of our football program was being laid — the Knights of those days played a big part in making Shadow Hills known. Isaiah was a Knight through and through.”
“He will be missed,” Esquibe — an assistant coach when Ortega-Dage was on the team — told the paper. “We mourn with his family during these trying times and we plan to honor his legacy as our season moves forward.”
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