Investigators say a five-month-old baby girl, identified as Armani Green of Rancho Mirage, California, was found dead in a Highway 74 single-vehicle crash after being ejected from the vehicle she was traveling in that fell 200-feet off the cliff, according to the Desert Sun.
At approximately 8:08 a.m. on Sunday, May 1, it was reported that a 51-year-old man and a woman, 22 — whose names have been withheld — along with a baby girl, were traveling in a 2015 Porsche sports coupe, which was later discovered to be registered out of Thermal, just north of Vista Point, when the driver of the vehicle suddenly lost control and crashed into the barrier, causing the vehicle to fall 200-feet off of the Santa Rosa Mountains.
An infant died after a Porsche went off Highway 74 Sunday morning.https://t.co/strOgDj6Iu
— The Desert Sun (@MyDesert) May 1, 2016
California Highway Patrol officer Stephanie Hamilton stated that “All the people that stopped, as far as I know, none of them witnessed the collision, it was all aftermath. We actually had a few climb down this embankment, it’s about 200-250 down this embankment, and tried to help… So it was pretty amazing. We had a bicyclist, a motorcyclist and a person in a regular vehicle that went down.”
When police and emergency services arrived at the scene, they discovered the baby girl’s lifeless body near the wrecked vehicle. It was determined that she was ejected from the vehicle and died at the scene. “Investigators suspect the child wasn’t properly restrained, because she was traveling with a man and woman in a car that only fits two people.”
It was also suspected that the baby girl found dead in the Highway 74 crash may have been sitting in someone’s lap before the driver somehow lost control, crashing into the barrier and falling 200 feet off of the cliff, according to KMIR.
However, it was not immediately clear if the two adults that the baby girl was traveling with were her parents, but they were found alive inside the vehicle. The “female occupant sustained a serious back injury, while the male occupant injuries seemed less severe.” Both adults were airlifted to a local hospital for treatment.
Officer Hamilton stated that “it does appear that speed was a factor” in the Highway 74 crash. The officer went on to say that “this is a winding road. As we know, local residents, we take a lot of collisions that occur up here. But just based on the fact, the way the collision happened, the physical evidence, it does appear that speed was a factor.”
Following the fatal car crash, authorities closed Highway 74 in both directions between Pinyon Pines and Palm Desert for almost 5 hours to retrieve the vehicle that fell 200 feet to the bottom of the cliff. The closed highway caused a “major traffic congestion,” but it was reopened around 2 p.m. the same day, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Update: A Baby Girl Is Dead After Crash on Hwy 74. https://t.co/ONHQQbfXHf
— KMIR News (@KMIRNews) May 2, 2016
A 49-year-old resident, Bill Snyder of Palm Desert, stated that the incident was unfortunate and the residents were somewhat glad to “have the road to ourselves, but we don’t like the reason why.”
The Highway 74 crash that claimed the life of a baby girl after she was ejected from the vehicle she was traveling in, when the driver suddenly lost control, was reportedly the second fatal crash to occur in less than a month.
On April 8 at approximately 5:45 p.m., a 48-year-old man, Eutiquio Ramirez, of Indio was traveling on Highway 74, just north of Bighorn Drive, when he suddenly lost control and drove his vehicle over the cliff, falling 50 to 100 feet to his death. According to a Riverside County Fire and the California news release, first responders at the scene found Ramirez dead.
— Colin Atagi (@TDSColinAtagi) May 1, 2016
Although authorities launched an investigation after his untimely death, details surrounding the fatal Highway 74 crash was not released.
However, police officials say that an investigation is currently underway to determine if alcohol or drugs played a factor in the Highway 74 crash that injured two and killed one. Authorities are also seeking answers as to why five-month-old Armani Green wasn’t properly restrained when riding in the vehicle.
[Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images]