An infant was killed and a 2-year-old was critically injured Sunday in a three-vehicle freeway crash on Interstate 10 near Palm Desert.
• A Saturn with three children in the back seat tried to re-enter the freeway from the center median and was hit by a pickup truck.
• The Saturn spun around into another lane where it was hit by a second pickup truck.
• One of the children — a 9-month-old girl — was killed. A 2-year-old boy was critically injured. The third child wasn’t hurt.
• The two adults in the Saturn suffered major injuries.
California Highway Patrol Officer Joe Zagorski said the two children were riding in a 1997 Saturn SL4, driven by 21-year-old Alyissa Goss of Coachella. Another 11-month-old infant and 19-year-old Elizabeth Goss also were passengers in the vehicle. How the five people were related was not immediately clear.
For unknown reasons, the Saturn was in the center median of westbound Interstate 10 when Alyissa Goss attempted to re-enter the freeway at Monterey Avenue., Zagorski said. As the car merged onto the freeway, it was struck from behind by a 2005 Ford F-150 pickup truck driven by 45-year-old Milo Santilli of Orange.
The Saturn hit the guardrail and then spun out of control into the Number 2 lane, into the path of a 1997 Ford F-150 pickup truck driven by James Stone Jr. of San Diego, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reported. The Saturn impact sent the pickup truck out of control and it crashed into the guardrail. The Saturn came to rest on the north shoulder of the freeway, near the first truck that had hit it.
Four of the five people in the Saturn suffered major injuries, Zagorski said. The 11-month old infant was not hurt. The 9-month-old infant – later identified as Nevaeh Sessoms — was rushed to Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, where she was pronounced dead. The 2-year-old boy was airlifted via helicopter to Loma Linda Medical Center, where he was listed in critical condition.
Zagorski said all three children were riding in the back seat of the Saturn. They were in child seats, he said, but “there were no indications that 9the seats) were properly installed.” The seats were not attached correctly to the car’s seatbelts, Zagorski said.
The two women in the Saturn, Alyissa and Elizabeth Goss, were taken to Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs. Their conditions and the nature of their injuries were not known.
Neither of the pickup truck drivers was injured.
The accident was being investigated by the CHP.
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