PALM DESERT, CALIFORNIA – A Palm Desert High School student was killed in a Highway 74 car accident. 17-year-old Lisel J. Wiedemann died Sunday evening after a car she was a passenger in rolled off the side of Highway 74. Wiedemann was a passenger in the rear of the car. She suffered head trauma and a broken neck in the accident. The California Highway Patrol responded to the scene around 7:55 p.m. Wiedemann was pronounced dead about 15 minutes later, according to the Riverside County coroner.
Four other teenagers were also injured in the accident. 18-year-old Lydia Lee Emer was driving the 2008 Dodge Caliber east on Highway 74 when she drifted onto the right side of the road. Her car then slipped down a steep embankment and hit a rock outcropping. The car flipped about a half mile west of Carrizo Road near Pinyon Pines. There was a curb on the highway on that section but no guardrail. Emer suffered cuts to her arms and cheek.
Passenger Raul Gonzalez also suffered cuts and reported back pain. Passenger Joseph Nicol suffered a broken back, collapsed lungs, and a brain injury in the accident. The 18-year-old was on life support as of 11 p.m. Monday night, according to the Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs’ nursing supervisor. The fourth passenger, another 17-year-old, suffered arm and head injuries. That passenger has not been identified.
All of the teenagers were wearing seatbelts at the time of the accident. The position of the rocks off the side of the highway caused severe damage to the back of the car where Wiedemann and Nicol were sitting at the time of the accident. CHP officials are investigating the cause of the accident. They do not believe drugs or alcohol were factors in the crash. No arrests have been made. Palm Desert High School has brought counselors to the school to help deal with the trauma.
Our hearts go out to the Palm Desert High School community as well as the Wiedemann family in their time of grieving. Our thoughts are also with the other injured teenagers as they recover from injuries. Serious car accidents such as these often cause lasting injuries and emotional as well as physical trauma. If you have been involved in such an accident, you may wish to speak with a qualified attorney to discuss your legal options.
Berman & Riedel, LLP is a plaintiff’s personal injury law firm in San Diego. Our attorneys have a well deserved reputation for excellence in personal injury and wrongful death litigation. If you have been involved in an accident, our lawyers will evaluate your case and options with compassion and legal expertise. Contact the firm to set up your initial consultation free of charge. You can learn more about personal injury law at www.bermanlawyers.com.