Riverside Police Department
Press Release


For Immediate Release

Date January 6, 2002
Contact Sergeant Don Taulli
Phone (909) 826-5576
Fax (909) 351-6038


Fatal Traffic Collision

Location: Arlington Av. W/of Maude St.
Time: 2:05 AM

Driver: Jose Vargas (23)
Santa Ana, Ca.

Injuries: A female passenger in the vehicle suffered massive trauma to the head. She was pronounced deceased at the scene by paramedics of the Riverside Fire Department.

Mr. Vargas was traveling West on Arlington Av. approaching Maude St. in a black 1999 Honda Accord (4Dr.). In addition to Mr. Vargas there were five (5) other occupants in the vehicle. The vehicle was traveling at a very high rate of speed when the driver lost control of the vehicle. The vehicle collided with the concrete curb and left the roadway.

The vehicle then collided with a concrete light standard and a metal street sign. The vehicle came to rest in the #3 lane of Arlington Av. and was immediately engulfed in flames. All of the occupants were able to get out of the vehicle.

Members of the Riverside Fire Department treated Mr. Vargas and four of the passengers at the scene. All except one were subsequently transported to various hospitals in the area via ambulance. All suffered injuries ranging from serious to moderate.

Mr. Vargas was taken to Arrowhead Regional Hospital in San Bernardino via medical helicopter for his injuries, which included burns to the face and body. The fifth female passenger was pronounced deceased at the scene by members of the Riverside Fire Department.

At this point the names of the passengers are still being confirmed. The name of the deceased passenger is also not confirmed and will be released by the Riverside County Sheriff/Coroners Office. The Riverside Police Department Traffic Division Major Accident Investigation (MAIT) Team is investigating the collision.