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Amber Alert

Friday, January 11, 2008

Killer Highway Reputation Solidified with Deadly Crashes

With two deadly crashes on roadways in the east valley over the past three days, California Highway Patrol officers are reminding drivers to pay attention on those roads. One crash happened Tuesday when Luis Prieto, 34, slammed his truck into another in front of him on Highway 86.

Prieto died in the crash. The CHP says one of the truck drivers may have ran a red light.

On Thursday, just a few blocks away, a 22-year-old driver identified as Ambrosio Flores of Thermal apparently fell asleep at the wheel while traveling east on Airport Boulevard.

Flores drifted into the opposite lanes of traffic and slammed into a tractor trailer. Flores died on impact, officers say.

Both of the crashes happened on or near Highway 86 - a roadway that has had the reputation of being a "killer" highway.

But despite the history on the roadway, the CHP doesn't believes the area's reputation.

"It's really no dangerous than any other roadway in the Coachella Valley," said Tami Low with the CHP. "We have fatal [accidents] all over our valley."

Still, CHP is making the warning to pay close attention to the roadways.

"In the area, there are a lot of problems with people not paying attention to their driving," says Low. "Because it's pretty rural and people have a tendency to be a little lazy in their driving."

In fact, truckers who frequent the area agree that being alert and well-rested goes a long way.

"If you feel sleepy, you have to get off the road," says trucker Ashot Muradian. "Bottom line is that anytime you operate heavy machinery, you need to pay attention. It can be a deadly weapon." Source