YUCCA VALLEY — Sharon Meler, an 84-year-old Yucca Valley woman, died and a family of three were critically injured in a collision around 3:10 p.m. Monday on Old Woman Springs Road at Terra Vista Road.

The Sheriff’s Department reports that the driver of a Ford F-150 truck traveling north rear-ended Meler’s Subaru Impreza as she was waiting for oncoming traffic to pass before turning left.

The impact pushed the Subaru into oncoming traffic, where it crashed with a southbound white Cadillac CTS.

Meler and the man, woman and child in the Cadillac all suffered critical injuries, San Bernardino County Fire Capt. Zack Taylor said.

Two medic engines from the Yucca Valley and Joshua Tree fire stations, three ambulance crews from the Yucca Valley and Yucca Mesa stations and Battalion Chief Scot Tuttle responded to the scene along with a Morongo Basin Ambulance crew.

The man driving the Cadillac was trapped and firefighters rescued him using the Jaws of Life, Taylor said.

Firefighters and paramedics triaged all four people, gave them advanced lifesaving care and determined they had to be taken to trauma centers immediately.

The woman in the passenger seat of the Cadillac was driven by ambulance to the Yucca Valley Airport, where she was picked up by a Mercy Air helicopter crew and flown to Desert Regional Medical Center, Taylor said. The other three people hurt in the crash were driven to Desert Regional by ground ambulance.

Meler succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced dead at 5:25 p.m., the Riverside County coroner said.

This was at least the second deadly crash this month on Old Woman Springs Road.

Col. Alexander Merz, 50, from Texas, died May 19 from injuries he suffered in a May 16 crash in Johnson Valley. According to the California Highway Patrol, he was hit by 27-year-old Anthony Wilson, of Twentynine Palms, who wanted to pass slower traffic and drove his Ford F150 into Merz’s path.

(9) comments


Highway 247 has well passed the threshold of requiring two lanes both ways. The least they should do is put left turn lanes at all intersections (that would be three lanes in total).


"The Sheriff’s Department reports that the driver of a Ford F-150 truck traveling north rear-ended Meler’s Subaru Impreza as she was waiting for oncoming traffic to pass before turning left." ??? So who was the driver of the Ford F-150? They named everyone else and he/she came out the lightest in injury and was the major cause of the accident.


Really so was the driver of F150 drinking? Definitely not paying attention to cause a wreck that bad.. Pretty incomplete reporting


The news KCDZ had was that the F-150 driver had a beverage container drop to the vehicles floor and he was attempting to pick it up and not looking ahead on the road when he looked ahead and didn't have time to stop. Still didn't mention his name. This sounds 'fishy' to me.


Yucca's board says the 247 is CalTrans' problem and CalTrans hasn't responded to multiple emails from my family and others. The 247 is an archaic highway that is becoming a death trap, in desperate need of turn lanes, traffic signals and speed control. Maybe the local newspaper can take the lead and raise some cane. Certainly no one else seems inclined to.


No disrespect, I learned a long time ago to not turn my wheels to make my left turn until it is safe to make the left turn, even in a turn lane , if someone rear ends you , you are headed for apposing traffic


That's what I was taught also in driver's ed fifty years ago. It looks like the Ford F-150 hit the older woman's Subaru on the back right side spinning the vehicle to the left and into oncoming traffic with the massive impact into her vehicle's right side. RIP.


I live near the intersection of 247 and Skyline Ranch/Buena Vista. Drivers blow through intersection at excessive speed all hours of the day. Some pass slower vehicles while going through the intersection. Very dangerous spot. I always check my rear view mirror when approaching to turn. In the 18 years driving 247 between YV and Johnson Valley, I've had three close calls with cars passing in no passing sections of the highway. Too many crappy, thoughtless drivers on US roads. If you're not going 10 mph over speed limit on 247 expect a collection of dubious tailgaters.


People drive like s**t around here. Always have.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.