A three-car crash on Highway 74 in Perris sent three people to the hospital today.
The main collision, first reported at 2:29 p.m., involved a Nissan Maxima sedan and a non-emergency medical transport van, causing at least one of the vehicles to overturn.
“Well, it was a rollover traffic collision and that’s not good to see. It appears that everyone was wearing their seat belts, which makes a huge difference in a rollover traffic collision. This was a favorable outcome,” said Cal Fire engineer Paul Brown.
According to California Highway Patrol officer Larry Vicino, the van was heading westbound on Highway 74 and attempting to make a right turn when the driver of the Nissan, traveling at a high rate of speed, failed to slow down and rammed into the back of the van.
Vicino said that after the Nissan hit the van, causing it to overturn during its turn, it veered off and sideswiped another car that was traveling eastbound.
Three patients were transported to Inland Valley Medical Center in Wildomar with what has been described as minor injuries.
Vicino said it was too early to tell if drugs or alcohol played a role in the crash, but that an initial interview of witnesses indicated that speed and reckless driving were contributing factors.
Lake Elsinore resident Mercedes Virray, 19, said she was behind the two cars and was witness to the crash.
“I was coming up right behind them. The van slowed down to turn. My first thought was, ‘That car better slow down,’ because they just kept going,” Virray said, adding that the van rolled about three times before coming to a stop.
Virray said it appeared as though the driver of the Nissan was distracted when failing to slow down.
Despite several lanes being blocked, traffic continued to move slowly.