Three early morning big rig crashes on Interstate 10 near Desert Center (between Indio and Blythe) claimed two lives and injured at least three others on Wednesday, February 10th. All three crashes occurred independently, but the later two were indirectly caused by the first crash.
The first crash occurred around 12:55 a.m. on the 10 West just before Corn Springs Road. The crash involved one big rig and a passenger vehicle. Two victims were taken to local hospitals via ambulance and a third victim was taken to hospital via helicopter. The crash caused the big rig to catch fire, closing all lanes. One lane was opened around 4:30 a.m.
The second crash occurred around 2 a.m. and was the first of two fatal crashes. This crash involved three big rigs traveling on the 10 East. According to authorities, one of the trucks slowed down for the earlier, westbound crash when it was rear-ended by another semi truck, causing a chain-reaction. The deceased victim has been identified as Joshua Tyler, 33, of Glendale, Arizona.
The third crash occurred much later, around 8:43 a.m. This fatal crash occurred about 20 miles west of the original crash locations, but may have occurred due to the traffic backup from the first two crashes. According to authorities, for an unknown reason, the driver of a big rig, identified as a 52-year-old man from San Bernardino, left the road and crashed into a wash. Rescue personnel were able to extricate the driver from the damaged big rig after three hours, but his passenger died at the scene.