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UPDATED: Coroner IDs Driver Who Died Following Crash In Lake Elsinore

The male driver was transported to a local hospital but succumbed to his injuries.

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.

A three-vehicle crash Monday afternoon in Lake Elsinore resulted in a fatality and the coroner has released the victim's identity.

Anthony James, 22, of Temecula was pronounced dead at 3:52 p.m. Dec. 16 at Inland Valley Medical Center, according to the Riverside County coroner's office.

The crash was reported at approximately 2:10 p.m. on Collier Avenue, about 100 yards west of Riverside Drive. According to the coroner's report, James was driving a sedan when he was struck by a pick-up truck. 

Deputies from the Lake Elsinore Police Department responded to the collision and found James "unresponsive," according to a report from sheriff's Sgt. Nathan Kass. 

The cause of the crash is still under investigation. Anyone with information is encouraged to call Deputy Richard Williams at the Lake Elsinore Sheriff’s Station by calling (951) 245-3300.


Stephanie Leon December 17, 2013 at 06:40 AM
I saw the crash site today. It's absolutely inconceivable how these cars crashed within such a small area. The speed at which they were going was most likely too fast. Irresponsible drivers.... I'm so frustrated with drivers today. Weaving in and out of traffic, on their phones, going 65 miles an hour trying to cut in line to make a left turn towards lakeshore. It happens every day. They get into the right lane, speed past drivers waiting to turn left and right at the last minute cut in front of you. Shame shame shame
QUEEN December 17, 2013 at 07:58 AM
I agree I travel that stretch of road daily in a large commercial vehicle and those reckless drivers will cut in front of me with no regard for anyone....I usually will drive slower because it will allow me more stopping time. Slow the heck down nothing is that important to risk the lives of everyone!!
jenny jones December 17, 2013 at 09:54 AM
Someone on FB said a bug rig was involved. I didn't see a big rig but they said they seen the whole thing happen.
SD December 17, 2013 at 10:56 AM
Too bad we don.t have a more workable bus service to free up some people that might prefer not to drive. once an hour is not available enough for people to count on. no offense to young drivers, but many don.t have enough experience driving and pose dangers. nor should they have to drive if they.re not ready.
Truthful December 17, 2013 at 11:33 AM
WHEN WILL SOMEONE RECOGNIZE THE DISASTER OF BOOTLENECKS 74 IS? IT NEEDED TO BE WIDENED TO 4 LANES 20 YEARS AGO! SHAME ON CAL-TRANS AND/OR THE CITY FOR NEGLECTING THIS COMMUTER NIGHTMARE AND CONTINUING TO POUR MONEY INTO THE STADIUM AND ITS ENVIRONS!
FireCracker December 17, 2013 at 12:29 PM
When will someone recognize that no matter ow wide the road NEEDS to be, IT ISN'T! It is so sad that such a young life was lost in this tragedy, may he Rest In Peace. As for everyone else, teach your kids how to drive CORRECTLY, you live in overpopulated Sweet Sunny Southern California, drive accordingly, or take the bus.
Fabiola Crampton December 17, 2013 at 12:45 PM
So young :'( May he R.I.P. My thoughts & prayers go out to his family!
kristin c December 17, 2013 at 01:34 PM
People cut in line everywhere. Not sure that shaving afew minutes is worth someone's life... but its just a game to see who can get in the front of the life. I watch people speed up in a turn lane and zip into what they think is an open spot in the lane they want to be in.. only its not an open spot, its a small space a driver has left between himself and the guy in front of him and when idiots zip into those spaces people have to slam on their brakes. I've seem people do it and laugh. There have been so many "accidents" lately... this won't be such a merry Christmas for these families. This guy was just a kid
jenny jones December 17, 2013 at 01:50 PM
Please don't widen this road. We don't need a freeway here. We need people to drive responsibly. If you have a problem driving through a small town you should take a different route.
jenny jones December 17, 2013 at 01:51 PM
My deepest condolence to the family's involved.
One Voice December 17, 2013 at 02:32 PM
I am so sorry for the loss of this young driver, it is a given that driving conditions in Lake Elsinore are beyond challenging and keeps even the most experienced drivers on their toes. Widening the roads, lighting them up and striping them would be helpful but bottom line is you can't fix stupid, and some of our drivers are just that!!!!!!!!
julian December 17, 2013 at 03:12 PM
Too many accidents on this bottle neck of a highway posing as a two lane winding country road. Needs to be widened and soon. Supposedly thousands and thousands of new homes are going to go up in the next 2-5 years and with them ten of thousands of new folks on the roads and this is only going to get worse. Isn't anyone else tired of reading about accidents on this stretch of road?
QUEEN December 17, 2013 at 03:52 PM
We were a small community that is over grown with homes,industry and elimination of public transportation where possibly it could eliminate all the additional parents & young people driving especially that stretch of road they need to have more law enforcement in that area....what was so important that it took this young mans life leaving a permanent open would for his family!!
S December 17, 2013 at 04:47 PM
I knew Anthony personally. To everyone who is blaming him (the driver) and his parents for not teaching him how to drive, SHAME ON YOU! How dare you be so insensitive. None of you were there, nobody knows for sure what happened. To say it is his own fault for being "stupid", you are dead wrong. He was FAR more intelligent than anyone I've ever met, especially for being so young. He was nothing but a kind-hearted, amazing, smart, caring, considerate man and does not deserve the accusations and insults being thrown around on here. His poor mother is beside herself over losing him, along with his brothers and other family members. He worked his butt off to take care of his mom and brothers and that family was very close. It is heartbreaking and earth shattering for them to deal with this loss and I'm sure if they read any of these hurtful comments it would only cause them more pain. Focus on the fact that the world lost a beautiful soul too soon rather than accusing and assuming things that you know nothing about. PRAY FOR HIS FAMILY!
lotsahelp December 17, 2013 at 04:59 PM
My sympathy and prayers go out to the family and friends of this young man...
SD December 17, 2013 at 06:44 PM
S, thank you for that. sometimes when a tragedy occurs it becomes a platform for discussion about improvements that could be made and Anthony the person blends into the backround. 22 years is so young and innocent. it.s the age of my son and his friends. words cannot evaluate this horrible occurance
Brandee Archer December 17, 2013 at 07:14 PM
Two horrible accidents only a few days apart, my prayers for any family and friends that are hurting. My brother was involved in the car accident on Saturday, everyone make sure to tell your loved ones you love them and be cautious when driving.
bd December 17, 2013 at 07:58 PM
S, and Anthony James' family, don't let these assholes get to you. When my good friend was killed earlier this year hiking in Deluze all us and the family had to hear(from preachers none-the-less) was how we were probably spraypainting and doing drugs and how we are idiots for hiking there. These people are heartless, they even went so far as to argue with the dad about his dead son. I would stay as far away from this site as I possibly can. Nothing but a bunch of lonely soccer moms trying to spew their shitty opinion.
Truthful December 17, 2013 at 09:24 PM
THIS IS NOT A SMALL TOWN ! ITS A CITY OF 50000+ TAX PAYING CITIZENS WITH INADEQUATE ROADS ! AND ITS A SHAME WHEN ANYBODY IS INJURED OR KILLED DUE TO A CITYS IGNORANCE! PRAYERS TO THE FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF ANTHONY JAMES!
susie-q December 17, 2013 at 09:42 PM
So sorry for this family's loss, especially at this time of year. Please everyone! Leave a little earlier so you don't end up being in a rush to go anywhere. Take your time and drive defensively and courteously. As I was using the detour route after this accident I was almost hit 2 times from people trying to cut in front of me because there was a line to get on the freeway. Craziness!!!
Diana December 17, 2013 at 10:06 PM
Well said Truthful!!!!! How many more have to die because our roads are unsafe to drive on, are you listening City Hall??????
Kimmy Noble December 18, 2013 at 11:15 AM
There are many areas of the 74 that are scarey to drive, but this portion isn't one of them. It is a left turn at a signal. Someone made a mistake, it had nothing to do with the road conditions.
Truthful December 18, 2013 at 12:40 PM
When that left turn lane has 50 plus cars waiting to turn and it bottlenecks at IHOP, it is a safety issue! That entire shopping area (including Costco) was obviously given no thought on safety or traffic when approved by the city. How many more deaths on "FREEWAY 74" must occur before the city and/or Caltrans take action?
DB December 18, 2013 at 12:57 PM
Where would you like them to start, Palm Desert? San Juan Capistrano? This is a State highway, our Governor is way to busy with coddling inmates, banning guns and creating the ability for criminal aliens to drive here to take care of such things like a deadly highway.....
One Voice December 18, 2013 at 01:17 PM
Our roads belong to the City, Caltrans and the County. Riverside Dr/HWY74 is a pissing match between these three entities without anyone of them taking charge of the situation. I personally have addressed concerns about safety of our roads to all three and they pass the buck to one or the other depending on whom you are talking to, end result.............nothing changes or gets done!!!
Jenny Lee December 19, 2013 at 11:05 AM
This is what is so hard about articles....too much speculation ..... Here is what happened in a nut shell...I hope it helps answer any questions you all may have.... There was an SUV, a big rig, and Anthony's Protege (spl?) Involved..... The big rig, a middle car, and Anthony had just turned south onto Collier from Riverside/74..... The SUV was headed north on collier, came into oncoming traffic, barely missed headon with the rig. The suv caught the rig's rear wheel and bounced off him, missed a car in the middle of rig & Anthony, and then he hit Anthony (3rd car in line headed south) in the driver side door. The ONLY person at fault on Monday was the idiot driver who wasnt paying attention and crossed into oncoming traffic.... an innocent life was taken, and many other lives have been effected as well. The truck driver keeps wishing he had been hit head on, hoping that it would have prevented Anthony's death. He and I went to the site the following morning with a boquet of silk flowers and ribbons. Please leave any rude or mean comments out of this.....too many innocent lives have been effected by this as it is. RIP Anthony....a stranger to us, but you will forever be in our hearts :-(
KJ December 19, 2013 at 03:28 PM
Jenny, thank you for trying to explain just how this accident occurred. Like many others, I assumed speed was a factor based not on what is the norm in this area, but because I noted one of the vehicles went through the chain-link fence and figured someone had to have been hauling to end up at that point of rest. At the time, I wasn't aware a big rig was involved as my focus was on the vehicles moving around me to get around the accident scene. I've worked on so many accident cases over the years to include working with accident reconstruction experts, and was so shocked and saddened to hear this one resulted in a fatality. Emergency vehicles were still arriving when I got there and the police hadn't yet started to direct traffic. I keep thinking that had I not stopped for an ice cream because of the heat, the timing would have brought me a lot closer if not directly involved. My thoughts and prayers go out to all involved, especially the family/friends of Anthony and the driver of the big rig. Lauren, I'm going through what you are now and keep repeating a certain action, as well, because the reality just hasn't quite sunk in yet. It will ease up with time, but in the meantime, I am wishing you and your family strength, the ability to cope well, and happy memories of your loved one. ~Love and light.
Sharon January 11, 2014 at 02:17 PM
S - Well said. My daughter was at the scene and tried to comfort the young man who passed away. She said he was breathing, but labored, and that he was unresponsive to her. She did keep talking to him until the police arrived on scene. My daughter was deeply moved by this unfortunate accident and was tearful for the rest of the day and devastated to hear of his passing. Our prayers for him and his family were constant that day. Never assume you know the details of incidents such as this just by bits and pieces that are printed or spoken. My daughter had a different story about what happened and she and my husband were a couple of cars behind the big rig that was involved. To their knowledge, the big rig was hit by a pickup which then ran into this young man. I have followed Patch from time to time and some of the comments made are quite ignorant at times. Never assume you know the whole story unless you are there. My deepest sympathies to the young man's family. Please know that my daughter did try and comfort him as much as she could. He was not alone.

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