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Four injured in wreck involving CHP vehicle

Authorities released new information on a traffic collision involving a California Highway Patrol vehicle and a pickup truck that injured four early Sunday morning.

On Dec. 3, at around 12:50 a.m., a California Highway Patrol officer was a driving a patrol car west on Ramon Road, attempting to overtake an SUV that was driving at a high rate of speed, according to California Highway Patrol public information officer Mike Radford.

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As the CHP car approached a red light at the intersection of San Luis Rey Drive, the front of the car struck the left rear of a 2004 Dodge Ram 1500 as the truck was making a left turn from southbound San Luis Rey Drive to eastbound Ramon Road.

The driver of the truck — identified as Jose Burgos Riviera, 32, of Coachella — suffered a fracture neck. The passenger in the truck, a 29-year-old man of Indio, suffered moderate injuries.

There were two officers in the CHP patrol vehicle and they both sustained moderate injuries.

The suspect vehicle, described as a dark colored SUV got away.

All of those involved in the crash were taken to Desert Regional Medical Center.

Riviera, a band manager of a local band named Nuevo Eztilo, was transporting the band’s equipment as the truck was heading to the east valley to play at Tamale Festival on Sunday.

The instruments were damaged and strewn across the roadway.

The crash closed Ramon Road for several hours in both directions from Gene Autry Trail to San Luis Rey.

The collision is still under investigation. Authorities do not believe that drugs or alcohol were a factor.

Anyone with information on the accident is asked to call Officer Chavez at 760-772-5300.

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