California Highway Patrol. Photo by Chris Stone
A California Highway Patrol cruiser. Photo by Chris Stone

A motorist died in a collision linked to road rage on Interstate 15, authorities said Thursday.

The fatal crash happened at 8:20 p.m. Wednesday on southbound I-15 near Winchester Road in Temecula, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Officer Mike Lassig said that the victim, identified only as a 47-year-old Perris man, was at the wheel of a Chevrolet Malibu when he got into an unspecified dispute with the driver of a Lexus GS450h.

“The preliminary investigation suggests the two drivers engaged in a speed contest and took turns sideswiping one another until losing control of their respective vehicles,” Lassig said.

The Malibu slammed into the center median wall, rolling at least once before coming to rest on its wheels in the No. 2 lane.

Lassig said that the Malibu driver was not wearing his safety belt and was ejected onto the freeway, suffering catastrophic injuries. Medics took him to Inland Valley Medical Center in Wildomar, where he died a short time later.

Lassig said the Lexus spun out in the fast lane and came to a stop. The second driver, identified only as a San Diego man, 38, did not attempt to flee. He did not suffer any injuries. There was no indication of intoxication. No other vehicles were involved.

According to Lassig, patrol officers questioned the Lexus driver at the scene. They did not arrest him.

CHP investigators are coordinating with staff from the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office in reviewing factors in the deadly crash and determining what charges, if any, to pursue, Lassig said.

– City News Service


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Ellen Bullock