BANNING, Calif. – A BMW that was split in two in a crash on a Riverside County freeway was carrying three young San Diegans headed to Indio for the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, including an 18-year-old woman who was thrown from the car and died at the scene, authorities said Friday.
A 16-year-old San Diego girl sustained life-threatening injuries and the 21-year-old driver suffered less-serious injuries in the crash, which happened about 4:30 a.m. Thursday on eastbound Interstate 10 in Banning, the California Highway Patrol said. CHP investigators said the sedan was traveling at a high rate of speed when it left the freeway, went down an embankment and struck two trees.
The violence of the crash split the car in two, and 18-year-old Ginevra Gallone-Latte was ejected from a back passenger seat.
Gallone-Latte had attended La Jolla High School and studied at San Diego Mesa College, according to her Facebook page.
The front passenger, identified as Manuela Cerciello-Rahbari, sustained serious, life-threatening injuries and was taken to Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs, according to the CHP. The driver, 21-year-old Cesar Hernandez-Ozuna, was taken to a hospital with less-serious injuries.
"The BMW was loaded with food, alcohol and camping gear as all three people were on their way to the Coachella Festival at the Empire Polo Grounds in Indio," but neither alcohol nor drugs were suspected of contributing to the crash, according to a CHP statement.