Cathedral City Police Department Press Release

Fatal Traffic Collision Press Release 2309 C-4008

Date: 09-26-23

FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL: Cathedral City Police Department (760) 770-0300

Issuing Employee: (Acting Sgt.) Rudy Castro
Type of Case: Fatal Traffic Collision
Date/Time Reported: September 26, 2023 @ 6:22 PM
Location of Occurrence: Varner Road east of Palm Drive, Cathedral City

Name: Decedent identification will be released by Riverside County Coroner’s Office
Age: 19 years old
City of Residence: Cathedral City

Synopsis of Incident:
On 9-26-23 at approximately 1823 hours, Cathedral City Police officers responded to a single-vehicle collision that occurred on the southern shoulder of the eastbound lanes of Varner Road, near the intersection of Palm Drive.

Officers arrived on scene and determined the vehicle collided with an electrical pole and two occupants were ejected from the vehicle. CCFD Paramedics arrived and confirmed a male was deceased on scene. A second occupant was transported to Desert Regional Medical Center by CCFD Paramedics due to sustaining critical injuries during the collision. Due to both occupants being ejected from the vehicle, Officers were unable to determine which occupant was driving the vehicle during the collision. CCPD Traffic Investigators arrived on scene and assumed responsibility of the investigation. The roadway was closed while CCPD Traffic Unit completed their initial investigation and was reopened a few hours later. The Riverside County Sheriff/Coroner’s Office was notified and responded to the scene.

It appears the vehicle was traveling east bound on Varner Rd. when it drove off the roadway and collided with an electrical pole. The exact cause of the collision is still under investigation, but it appears that speed was a factor. It is unknown at this time if the driver was under the influence of alcohol/drugs. The identity of the decedent will not be released until the Coroner’s Office completes their investigation. The other occupant remains in critical condition at a local hospital.

If you have information related to this incident or believe you may have information, please contact CCPD Traffic Investigator Kevin Ramirez via email at, or at the Cathedral City Police Department at (760) 770-0300; or via the Cathedral City Police Department website at:; or email You may also report information anonymously through Coachella Valley Crime Stoppers, by calling (760) 341-STOP; or through the WeTip hotline at: 1-(800)-78-CRIME or Some tip information may qualify for a cash reward.

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