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Community mourns the loss of 23-year-old Isaiah Ortega-Dage, his suspected killer arrested for possible DUI

The community is mourning the loss of 23-year-old Isaiah Ortega-Dage, a former athlete at Shadow Hills High School and father of a baby girl.

A GoFundMe page to support Ortega-Dage's family. Click here to visit that page

The California Highway Patrol said that Ortega-Dage was killed early Saturday morning on Palm Drive, north of Varner Road, in Desert Hot Springs.

Isaiah Ortega-Dage, 23

Officials said that just after midnight, a woman stopped a sedan near the right shoulder of Varner Road. They said that a man, now identified as Ortega-Dage, who was a passenger in the car, got out and walked around to the driver's side.

“For an unknown reason the car came to a stop," said Jacquelene Quintero, with the California Highway Patrol.

Officers said that was when he was hit by a Nissan pickup truck, which sped off. “After the collision took place, the driver of the Nissan pickup actually fled the scene," said Quintero.

The driver of the pickup was arrested at the intersection of TwoBunch Palms Trail and Palm Drive at approximately 1:30 a.m., about an hour after allegedly killing Isaiah Ortega-Dage, according to the CHP.

Ortega-Dage died from his injuries at the scene.

Friends and family took to social media on Monday to remember Ortega-Dage and his life. His former coach, Richie DeTamble, at Shadow Hills High School shared a post that read in part, "I’ve spent over a day trying to gather my words, and woke up today wishing the news wasn’t true. But our Knight track and football programs have been rocked with the passing of one of our legends. Isaiah Ortega-Dage, class of 2015, was electric on the football field and one of the most gifted track athletes I’ve ever coached or been around."

DeTamble shared that in addition to Ortega-Dage's remarkable athletic ability, he was a great dad who wanted to "give his beautiful daughter the best life possible. He was built to be a dad!"

Shadow Hills High School issued a release paying tribute to him:

"The Shadow Hills Knights football family has lost one of their own. Isaiah’s years at Shadow Hills were the years that the foundation of our football program was being laid. The Knights of those days played a big part in building the culture of Shadow Hills Athletics. Isaiah played a huge role in that culture and was an exemplary student-athlete. He was a Knight through and through and he will be missed. We mourn with his family during these trying times and we plan to honor his legacy as our football season moves forward." 

A GoFundMe page to support Ortega-Dage's family. Click here to visit that page

Watch News Channel 3 at 4 p.m. for the latest on this story.

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Madison Weil


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