Riverside Police Department Press Release

For Immediate Release

Date Saturday, February 10, 2007
Contact Steven Frasher, Press Information Officer
Phone (951) 826-5147

Officer-Involved Traffic Collision

Riverside, Ca- A Riverside Police Officer and his civilian ride-along passenger escaped serious injury in a high-speed crash at the intersection of Magnolia Avenue and Van Buren Boulevard early Saturday morning.

Officer Arturo Barajas was driving westbound on Magnolia, responding to an officer assist call of a reported commercial burglary in progress. The marked police unit was traveling at high speed with lights and siren, and entered the intersection on a green light, where the unit collided with a 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse, which entered the intersection at an extreme speed and into the path of the oncoming police car, at 4:06 a.m.

According to very preliminary investigation, the maroon Mitsubishi appears to have been traveling northbound on Van Buren and ran the red light when it was broadsided by the 2003 Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor. The Mitsubishi then collided with a silver 2005 Toyota Corolla, in the curb lane of southbound Van Buren, before coming to rest on the southwest corner of the intersection. The heavily-damaged police cruiser slid sideways into a palm tree along Magnolia.

Charges are pending against Darcy Darcell Cox, 22, of San Bernardino, the driver of the Mitsubishi, who was taken by ambulance to Riverside Community Hospital with serious injuries; Officer Barajas and his passenger were taken to Riverside County Regional Medical Center where they were treated for minor injuries and released. The Toyota driver, Joel Villa, 19, of Riverside, was uninjured. Air bags deployed in all three vehicles. A fourth vehicle at the scene, a 1988 Volkswagen Jetta, was not involved in the collision.

The Riverside Police Major Accident Investigation Team (MAIT) responded to the scene. The investigation continues. Anyone with information helpful to the investigation is urged to contact Detective Ken Madsen at (951) 351-7989.