A horrific crash occurred Sunday morning, May 14 on the 10 Freeway near Palm Springs. Three family members from the Orange County city of Anaheim were killed, two of whom were children, and four others involved were also seriously injured.

California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers responded to the crash at approximately 7:24 AM. According to reports, nine family members from Anaheim were in a Chevrolet Suburban on the eastbound side of the 10 Freeway. They collided with a Tesla Model 3 and crashed into the center divider according to the CHP.

Emergency medics arrive to scene of a crash

The crash occurred west of Haugen-Lehmann Way in Whitewater. CHP officers discovered the Suburban had overturned and six people were ejected. One individual was partially ejected according to officer Jason Montez. 

A 31-year-old woman, an 8-year-old girl and a 12-year-old girl were pronounced dead at the scene. The woman was identified as Cecilia Villalobos according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. The two girls were not originally identified, but NBC reported they were Villalobos’ daughters. Villalobos was reported dead at 8:10 AM, the two young girls were reported dead at 8:25 AM. The report said the family was heading to Thermal in the Coachella Valley for a Mother’s Day celebration.

According to officer Montez, several other children were involved in the crash – a 3-year-old girl, a 7-year-old boy, an 11-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy all suffered serious injuries. The two people in the front of the vehicle, a 39-year-old man and a 41-year-old man, were also injured. The driver of the Tesla was the lone occupant, and he was not injured according to reports. Authorities also reported that drugs and alcohol did not appear to be a factor in the collision, although they are looking into speed as a potential issue. Traffic was snarled as CHP officers closed the 10 Freeway until 3 pm, only opening two lanes at that time. Traffic had been diverted to Railroad Avenue from Main Street until 3:30 pm.

“The idea that three people, including two children, lost their lives is horrific,” said Brett Schreiber, Palm Springs car accident attorney at Singleton Schreiber. “The lives of everyone involved will be changed forever, and the survivors are going to battle injury, mental trauma, medical bills, possibly loss of employment and more as a result of this awful Chevy Suburban accident.”

Anyone who has suffered a car accident injury in Anaheim or Palm Springs should contact Singleton Schreiber immediately at (619) 771-3473 or by email at info@singletonschreiber.com

Palm Springs 10 Freeway Chevy Suburban Crash

As authorities continue to examine what happened, the drivers of both the Chevy Suburban and the Tesla Model 3 are likely shaken from this experience. The LA Times reported the Tesla driver was not physically injured, but if that driver observed the potentially gruesome collision and its aftermath, it’s likely that person is also impacted for life.

Photos of the Palm Springs Tesla crash showed the Suburban on its side and the roof cut off. Likely, first responders had to saw the roof off in order to remove other people from the vehicle. There were child safety seats surrounding the car. 

Palm Springs, known for its scenic beauty and tourist attractions, unfortunately also sees its fair share of car accidents. The city’s busy roads and highways, coupled with an influx of visitors, contribute to the risk of collisions. The 10 Freeway can be hazardous for drivers as speeding, distracted driving and other challenges make the roads a dangerous place.

This particular crash was reported on in several media outlets, including the Riverside Press Enterprise, OC Register, KTLA, NBC Los Angeles and more. The accident happening on Mother’s Day added to the trauma.

“Anyone injured in a car accident like this first needs to seek medical attention, but they then must contact a qualified car accident lawyer,” said Anaheim injury attorney Brett Schreiber. “The survivors likely have legal claims and are eligible for compensation. However, figuring out all of the legal matters while also dealing with serious medical bills and mental trauma is overwhelming. An attorney can help sort those issues out.”

Individuals who have suffered an SUV accident injury in Anaheim or Palm Springs should contact Singleton Schreiber immediately at (619) 771-3473 or by email at info@singletonschreiber.com.