SAN DIEGO (CNS) - 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.
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.
Friends flooded the injured teen's Instagram page urging a swift recovery.
"I hope you the best recovery possible, I'm so sorry this happened to you," wrote one user. "Stay strong ... I'm so sorry for your loss and I hope you can recover fully."
The 16-year-old was a current student at La Jolla High School and Ginevra Gallone-Latte was a former student. we reached out to the school and they gave News 8 this statement
The La Jolla High School family is saddened by the loss of one of its former students. Our condolences go out to the student’s family and friends during this difficult time, and we wish the best for the other individuals involved as they recover. Counselors have been on campus to provide support to students and staff, and will be available indefinitely to assist anyone in need. The La Jolla High community is strong and we will support one another during this time.