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4 Killed in Collision with Big-Rig

Posted on May 31, 2017

Four people were killed in a head-on collision between a Toyota Corolla and a big-rig truck Monday afternoon. The accident took place around 3:30p.m. about 19 miles north of Desert Center in Riverside County, just east of Joshua Tree National Park. According to authorities, the Corolla was traveling south on the two-lane Highway 177, when the driver of the Corolla veered into the north lane and slammed head-on with the big-rig truck that was pulling a fuel tank, spilling 120 gallons of fuel onto the highway. Authorities identified the four victims as Matt Hodge, 30-years old, and Gabriela Constante, 20-years old, 2 soccer coaches from a Chino Hills high school. The other two were identified as Marissa Garnica, 20-years old, and Jessica Giraldo, 21-years old, two former soccer students. All four were traveling back from Parker, Arizona where the group had spent Memorial Day Weekend. Three victims, all female were pronounced dead at the scene while the driver, Hodge, was airlifted to a Palm Springs hospital where he succumbed to his injuries and was later pronounced dead. The big-rig driver, 55-year-old male from Afton, Oklahoma, was not injured in the crash. The investigation is still ongoing, alcohol and drugs are not a factor, but whether or not the passengers of the Corolla were wearing seatbelts may have played a role in the victim’s deaths, according to the Police.

News of the coaches came just one day before Ayala High School’s graduation. The coaches were honored on Tuesday during graduation rehearsal. Matt Hodges was the head coach of the varsity girls’ soccer team at Ayala High School, and Gabby Constante was assistant coach, the two were believed to be dating.

“I just came from practice and I’ve seen a lot of ups and downs with our soccer players, but there are quite a few eyes that are keeping an extra eye on them today at practice,” said Warren Reed, Ayala High School’s Athletic Director.

School officials also released a statement Tuesday evening saying, “Mr. Hodges coached our girls for four years, while Ms. Constante had just finished her second year at Ayala. We ask that you keep them and their families in your thoughts,”.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, I Accident Lawyer strongly encourages you to call our car accident lawyer at 1.800.920.0810 for a free consultation. Our highly skilled and experienced attorneys will provide you with the best legal representation and guidance that you need. Our offices are conveniently located throughout California and we conduct regular travels in the region to meet with clients.

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