A suspected drunk driver is being charged with the death of a 58-year-old Desert Hot Springs woman after she was struck crossing Palm Drive on Friday night, this accident comes just a few months after a teenage girl was struck and killed on that same road.
Desert Hot Springs Police said 25-year-old Adrian Villalobos from Sky Valley is under arrest for gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated after eight at night.
The mayor of Desert Hot Springs, Scott Matas said he is well aware of these deadly accidents in his city.
Matas said, “We did a study a couple of years ago, that indicated we’re the second highest in fatalities and casualties on pedestrians and bicyclist in the Coachella Valley.”
Matas refers to a study done as part of a project to redevelop Palm Drive in order to make it safer for all residents.
The mayor said, “Over the last year we’ve been planning, unfortunately it is not fast enough and another tragic accident happened.”
The victim was struck near the intersection of Palm Drive and Buena Vista Avenue, where there are no crosswalks.
In March, 17-year-old Pamela Carrillo was also killed on Palm Drive as she tried to cross the street near Camino Aventura at night. That intersection is poorly lit and it does not have a crosswalk either, the accident prompted outrage from the community and they called on city officials to intervene.
“In Palm in the exact area where this accident took place on Friday night, there’s going to be some crosswalks and better light in the area,” Matas said. “That’s one of the highest areas of causalities and fatalities in our community and it’s unfortunate that it continues to happen.”
The Desert Hot Springs mayor said construction to make the city’s streets safer will begin this winter.