CAJON PASS, Calif. (VVNG.com) — A man was found dead inside an overturned vehicle found in a creek underneath the I-15 freeway along the Cajon Pass.
On February 26, 2023, at about 11:30 am, the California Highway Patrol received reports of a white vehicle on its roof in a wash under the NB I-15.
Firefighters from San Bernardino County Fire responded and accessed the crash site along old Cajon Blvd also known as Route 66, just north of Swarthout Canyon. Firefighters walked up a dirt access road before hiking down to the vehicle and pronouncing the driver deceased at the scene.
CHP Officers conducted an investigation for several hours and at about 4:30 pm, they assisted with closing the no. 3 and 4 lanes while a tow truck recovered the vehicle from the top of the freeway.
The site of the crash happened on a portion of the freeway that is actually a bridge suspended by large concrete pillars, and a wash down below containing large boulders.
According to usda.gov, black ice forms readily on bridges, overpasses, and the road beneath overpasses. This is because the cold air is able to cool both the top and under the bridge or overpass, bringing about faster freezing.
The San Bernardino County Coroner’s Office identified the deceased as Richard L. Ruiz, 29, a resident of Hesperia.
Richard’s family who knew him better as “Richie” created an online fundraising account to help pay for his memorial expenses.
According to the account, Richie was a loved father, son, brother, nephew, cousin, friend, and coworker who will be truly missed. He leaves behind two young children Noah (6) and Presley (4).
“No amount will lessen the heartbreak but any help is appreciated. All donations will go to the memorial expenses and his two young boys. Richie was a funny, outgoing, overachieving, and active young man who recently made a drastic recovery from a previous accident in September. He was loved by many and will be truly missed. He will forever be remembered in our hearts, memories, and stories. He loved so big and lived life largely and to the fullest!”*Hayden Inzunza via spotfund
Online donations to help Richie can be made via the following link: InLovingMemoryOfRichieRuiz
Heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures from a series of powerful winter storms caused black ice across many roadways Saturday night into Sunday morning.
The California Highway Patrol – San Bernardino station is investigating the collision and have not released any additional info.
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