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Two Monday Accidents Show How Dangerous Tri-Community Roads Are

PHOTO: James Hannon

The wreckage of a Snowline school bus that was sideswiped by a semi truck traveling on Phelan Road. No students were on board, but what if there were?

November 29, 2021, was an awful day for vehicle collisions in the small community of Phelan. The day began with a semi-truck colliding with a Snowline school bus and ended with a four-car pile-up with one car landing on another.

In the early morning hours, about 6:00 am on November 29, a semi traveling westbound on Phelan Road near Trinidad Road reportedly veered into oncoming traffic, hitting a Snowline school bus then colliding with an SUV traveling behind the bus. The semi appeared to strike the eastbound school bus on the passenger’s side, sideswiping the side of the vehicle, completely tearing off a tire leaving the yellow tire rim laying in the middle of the road. The semi then collided with a silver Toyota Rav 4.

Thankfully, no children were aboard the bus at the time. The driver of the bus was driven by a 62-year-old male from Victorville who sustained minor injuries, the Rav 4 was driven by a 29-year-old female also from Victorville who sustained minor injuries, and the semi was driven by a 35-year-old male from West Covina who also sustained minor injuries. No one was transported to the hospital.

Traffic was temporarily closed in both directions as first responders worked to clear the accident; all three vehicles incurred significant damage and had to be hauled away on wreckers.

About 8 hours later, at the corner of Phelan Road and Johnson Road, another accident involved three vehicles. At approximately 2:30 pm at the intersection adjacent to the Desert Community Bank, a black Nissan Altima was traveling southbound on Johnson road, at a high rate of speed, when it ran the red light at Phelan Road. The Nissan struck a white Ford F250, already in the intersection. The Nissan then flew into a silver Jeep Renegade, waiting to make a right-hand turn onto Phelan Road. According to reports, the Nissan came to rest upside down, on or near the Renegade, leaving the driver of the Nissan unconscious and trapped in the vehicle. The driver was described as a male in his late 20s.

Initially, rescue crews, a medical engine, and an ambulance from San Bernardino County Fire Station 10 in Phelan arrived on the scene and began rescue efforts. The extraction of the Nissan took firefighters 25 minutes. The driver of the Renegade, a female, was critically injured, and it was determined that both needed to be airlifted to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center.

At about 3:00, airships were requested to transport the two victims. The male driver of the truck sustained non-life-threatening injuries and was transported by ambulance to a local area hospital. A CHP helicopter was dispatched from the High Desert at the same time a Sheriff’s Helochopter left San Bernardino Airport both inbound as the two injured persons were en route to the Stater Bros. shopping center. An empty parking lot to the west of the center has been used and the landing site for emergency airlifts for many years. By about 3:30, both choppers were back in the air and heading down the hill to Arrowhead. By about 3:50, the CHP chopper had landed at Arrowhead with the Sheriff’s helicopter not far behind.

Johnson Road was closed in both directions for the duration of the accident, and Phelan Road was temporarily closed in both directions as tow truck personnel cleaned up the debris from the accident.

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