MORONGO VALLEY — As the California Highway Patrol investigates a collision that claimed the lives of two teenagers, a memorial cross has been placed at the crash site, in front of Circle K.
Fourteen-year-old Hart Madison Campbell and his 17-year-old sister, Ruby Campbell, died from injuries they suffered in the June 12 collision. Coroners’ officials released the names of the Los Angeles siblings this week.
Their father, Colin Campbell, suffered major injuries and their mother, Gail Lerner, moderate injuries. Both were taken to Desert Regional Medical Center.
Also taken to the hospital with major injuries was 33-year-old Nicole Packer, of Morongo Valley, who CHP officers suspect was driving under the influence.
Her westbound Ford Fiesta collided with the Campbells’ eastbound Toyota Prius as Colin Campbell tried to turn left into the Circle K parking lot at 10:30 p.m. June 12, according to the CHP.
Packer and the Campbell family were all taken to Desert Regional in Palm Springs. Ruby Campbell was pronounced dead at 10 minutes after midnight. Hart Campbell was flown to Loma Linda University Medical Center, where he died at 8:09 a.m. June 13, according to the coroner.
Near the site of the collision, a cross depicting a blue sky, clouds and the words “Beautiful angels” was placed this week by Asha Osborn, an 18-year-old resident of Morongo Valley.
“I heard about the accident the next day, which was Thursday, and I couldn’t believe what I was reading,” Osborn said.
“I felt like we need to do something so that the family knows that we are terribly sorry that they came to our town and had a horrible experience.
“I wanted to make the cross so they would know that we want them to come back.”
Lerner and Colin Campbell are filmmakers who shared an Oscar nomination for their short film “Seraglio” in 2001. Lerner is a writer, director and executive producer “Black-ish.”
The two also teach at the Unusual Suspects Theatre Company, which provides programs for at-risk youth. Lerner is a co-founder.
Driver was on
A CHP report said Packer was driving “at a high rate of speed” before the crash.
She was arrested on suspicion of felony driving under the influence, but released to the hospital. In the meantime, the CHP is investigating the crash before sending a final report with recommended charges to the district attorney’s office.
“Due to the complexity of the investigation, it’s going to take several months to complete,” CHP Officer J. Kobaly said Friday.
“It would be premature for us to recommend any charges if we haven’t fully completed an investigation.”
He said privacy laws prevented him from confirming whether Packer’s blood was drawn for a blood-alcohol test.
“In the normal course of an investigation, if the officer has reasonable cause that a person is under influence of alcohol or drugs, it is normal to get a chemical draw from that individual,” he added.
Packer was convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol in 2013. After she violated her probation in 2017, it was extended to end on Aug. 1, 2019, according to San Bernardino County court records.
She also pleaded guilty in 2016 to driving while her license was suspended for driving under the influence.