A 27-year-old man killed in a collision on Highway 371 near Aguanga failed to negotiate a curve because of excessive speed and hit another car, injuring the occupants and causing his vehicle to roll down a hill, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Cristian Gomez Barraza of Palm Desert was fatally injured about 1:30 p.m. Saturday in a collision near where the highway meets Barbara Trail, just south of Lake Riverside.
CHP Officer Mike Lassig said that Barraza was headed west on the 371 in a 2017 Subaru Cross Trek when he entered a bend on the two-lane corridor and “was unable to maintain control” because of excess speed.
“The driver’s unsafe speed caused his vehicle to spin out, crossing over solid double yellow lines, directly toward a 2015 Kia Optima,” Lassig said.
The Kia struck the spinning Subaru broadside, and “the force of the impact caused the Subaru to travel approximately 40 feet down an embankment before rolling over and coming to rest on its wheels,” the CHP spokesman said.
Riverside County Fire Department paramedics reached the location a short time later and pronounced Barraza dead at the scene.
The 24-year-old San Jacinto man at the wheel of the Kia was seriously injured and taken to a hospital, where he is in stable condition. His passenger, a 19-year-old San Jacinto woman, suffered moderate injuries and was treated at a hospital and released.
“Speed is the number one cause of traffic collisions,” Lassig said. “Remember to use a high visual horizon, which will allow to adjust speed for curves or hazards in the roadway.”