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Deadly Motorcycle vs. Auto accident 62 at Indian Cove Rd

By   /   November 6, 2010  /   22 Comments

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Twentynine Palms, Ca– 6:31 PM Friday evening a car vs. Motorcycle accident closed both East and West bound lanes of Hwy 62 at Indian Cove Ave.

The 29 Palms Fire Department and law enforcement was on scene.

The motorcyclist received major trauma and was  transported to HiDesert Medical Center where he succumbed to his injuries.

The Sheriff’s MAIT (Major accident Investigation Team) arrived on the scene.

Traffic was being rerouted to the Outer Hwy.


On 11/05/2010 at 6:31 PM, Omar E. Salazar, a 25 year old active Marine and resident of Twentynine Palms, was riding his Yamaha motorcycle westbound on State Route 62 (Twentynine Palms Hwy) at Indian Cove Rd.

A vehicle traveling southbound on Indian Cove Rd. pulled in front of Salazar. Salazar collided with the vehicle causing him to be ejected.

Salazar was transported by paramedics to Hi Desert Medical Center where he died from his injuries at 7:19 PM.

An autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department – Morongo Basin Station is investigating the collision.

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About the author

Dan OBrien


Cactus Thorns has been online in one form or the other since 2001. What started as a personal blog documenting the corruption and lack of Due Process of the 29 Palms Community Development Department has turned into over these many years into a hugely popular Independent Alternative News Media Outlet. We have partnered with other media including The Desert Star Weekly, Joshua Tree Star, other blogs, indie media and an incredible staff of volunteer Reporters, Commentators and Opinion Makers to create one of the most read, honest and dependable alternative to the Local traditional Media services in the country. Thanks to you the reader we are in the 5% of most read sites in the World.


  1. Les says:

    Hwy 62 is so treacherous. One must be a virtual “road warrior” to get to and fro on it!

  2. diogenes29po diogenes29po says:

    What is treacheous? Being straight? Four lanes with a turning lane? No noticeable elevation changes? No falling rock? Absence of fog? Minimum amount of snow? No aircraft landings? Lack of Marathons? Deer crossings and/or other animals? Narrow bridges?

    • Cora Heiser Cora Heiser says:

      Lance Corporal Thorburn conducted research and compiled a report entitled “Highway 62 Kill Zone” The report covers 1997-2007. I have seen this video many times at the theater on base.It is a sobering video to watch. During this time period there were 1,572 accidents with 43 fatalities in the period of 1997 to 2007; it is broken down into four dangerous zones on the slides provided with maps. Speed is a major factor on Hwy 62 by both vehicles and motorcycles. Unfortunately, in a car vs. motorcycle accident, the motorcyclist usually comes out the loser. Even more frightening is that people still drive while texting. 62 is not a hwy tht we should become comfortable and lazy while driving. I will try to get a link or website to the video.

  3. Les says:

    Yeah, yeah, just another smart-ass. Yo! Hwy 62 is a MAJOR highway! It’s not the same as a neighborhood street @ 25 miles per hour where one could still get seriously injured if not killed. In that lies the very crux of the problem. People who live in the desert develop a certain lackadaisical attitude toward their everyday travel to and from their communities, e.g., in that they are perhaps more inclined to be less cautious.

  4. Observer says:

    Actually if you really pay attention while driving Hwy 62, you will see that there are lots of opportunities for disaster. It’s not the straight clear shot people think it is. There are a lot of areas where you can’t see what’s coming at you not to mention the drunks and druggies driving under the influence

  5. diogenes29po diogenes29po says:

    Hwy 62 is a country road compared to Phoenix, El Paso, Lawton, OK., Springfield MO, St. Louis, Columbus OH, Cleveland OH,Indianapolis, Kansas City, Oklahoma City, Denver, Salt Lake City, and Las Vegas to name a couple of cities where I sharpen my driving skills every year.

    • JPMommy says:

      Its great that you have the opportunity to sharpen your driving skills in such large cities. The problem with hwy 62 is that there are just a bunch of people who don’t pay attention when they drive. I have been cut off several times by people trying to turn right onto the highway from Lear. It is a trecherous area because there are no stop lights near the area and some people trying to turn out tend to cut others off and not speed up to the 65mph speed limit quickly. Just yesterday I was cut off on 62 by a woman talking on her phone. She changed lanes w/o looking over her shoulder and forced me to hit the brakes hard. Luckily there wasn’t anybody close behind me.

    • Les says:

      @diogenes29po: Okay so what you are really saying here is that you are a superior human being while all the others out there are dolts? Right?

      There are so many variables in the act of driving a motorized one (1) ton steel vehicle combined with all of the others on the very same road.

      You sir, are a twit!

  6. desertrider desertrider says:

    Sounds like the real problem is not with the road, but with people.
    No amount of stop lights is going to fix that problem.

    • HogWild HogWild says:

      Traffic signals are not the going to FIX the problem but they will sure help control some of the nonsense going on on 62. You’re correct that PEOPLE are the problem and having driven this road a gazillion times over the past 17 years the number of vehicles has grown immensely with the growth of the Marine base during that same time. With that in mind take into account the age of the added drivers along with the advancemenets in technology and you have a mixture of inexperience and inattentiveness that just boggles the mind.
      Any given morning or afternoon the migration to and fro the base is a crap shoot if you attempt to drive the posted speed limits. Not just blaming the majority of the issues on the young folks either. We have more than our fair share of the elder generation who should be having their children or caretakes shuttle them around vice being behind the wheel themselves.

      • Mike Hawkins Mike says:

        The more signals we install on 62 the more likely it is the river traffic will begain to bipass our restraunts and stores and use I-10 instead. Just a thought.

        • HogWild HogWild says:

          Possibly, but not so sure. With all of the additional signals and stop signs that have been installed in the past six or seven years from the Morongo Basin through the Coachella Valley I haven’t seen much of a drop in recreational vehicles heading to Glamis, Anza-Borrego, or Ocotillo Wells. In fact a couple of the newer signals on the 86 came with truck stops, restaurants, and dump stations. Along with that convenience came an increase in revenue and a decrease in injuries/fatalities.
          Maybe we would have the same experience in the Basin if given the opportunity. A little competition along the 62 and out of the towns might even lower gas and diesel prices.
          Just my .02

  7. Dan OBrien Dan OBrien says:

    We have had in the last 30 years 18 people die in front of our house or actually in our yard.

    The one that haunts me… I had one young fellow die in a completely freak accident that went through my front gate and rolled into the fence. A beautiful young Marine on the day he was to be discharged. He had just signed on to be a professional Bucking Bronc rider for the PRC. We pulled him out of the cab of his pickup. There was not a visible mark on him yet there he lay a handsome and beloved son of two of the most beautiful people I ever met. A proud Native American family they brought a Medicine Man to bless the spot where he died. The base funeral was the saddest. It still brings a tear to my eyes when I think of the whole story.

    Highway 62 is one of the most dangerous highways in America for the amount of traffic it actually handles.

  8. Dan OBrien Dan OBrien says:

    Marian Huff Tremblay commented on your status.

    Marian wrote:
    “I personally am afraid of that intersection. If you are in the ‘slow’ lane, the drivers try to jump ahead of you making a right, forgetting that they will not be going 65 right away – if your in the ‘fast’ lane people try to turm North on Lear in front of you not thinking “hey. I am a wall in front of a car going 65.” How sad.”

    Reply to this email to comment on this status.

    To see the comment thread, follow the link below:

    The Facebook Team

  9. Gerrard Scott Gerrard Scott says:

    I think that is the second fatality in as many years at that location. If I remember right, last year as I was on my way to Joshua tree, about this time of year, there was a downed bike and a CHP and the rider was laying out on the pavement. the ambulance hadn’t even arrived yet.

    Some one pulled out in front of the guy by the Raven Book Store.

    • JPMommy says:

      You are right. Last year in the same place. That same night there was another fatality on the 62 in morongo on a motorcycle. So Sad.

      • Gerrard Scott Gerrard Scott says:

        I ride scooters too. So it really depresses me when I see that or read about. I always think about drunks pulling out in front of bikes.

        But I do know that during daylight hours that frequently drivers brains do not always recognise motorcycles. I think its because they are quickly looking for cars and the mind just doesn’t register it.

        So I think that they are telling the truth when they say “I didn’t see him.” (They did, but it simply didn’t register.) But at night we have lights. And we as car drivers know about one eyed bandits, so I don’t see where any excuse can arise other than “I was in a hurry.” Or maybe I was too stoned or drunk to pay attention.

        But that hurts. Over the last maybe 3 years, it seems that there have been about 20 bike and car accidents with 10 or 11 fatalities.

        I’m sure CHP would have some local statistics.

        I rode my scooter from here to Ohio and back and I found that most states, California not being one of them, have policies of using the electronic highway marquies to say things like “share the road with Motorcycles” and “Watch out for motorcycles”. They even distribute bumpers stickers for that.

        But this state only really cares about money generation and not public safety as much as they will cry to the contrary.

        I wish I had the money, because one good bill board that says Watch out for motorcycles on both sides would really be helpful as a reminder out here. That middle of that stretch between Indian Cove and Joshua Tree would be a good spot. It reeminds bikers as well as car and truck drivers to simply be more aware.

        as soon as I win the lottery….

  10. Gerrard Scott Gerrard Scott says:

    Also, as a biker, you really gotta watch it.

    I know that people don’t generally really see me, so I am as careful as possible.

    I even worked on the engine and intake to make sure that I can goose it away from inattentive drivers.

  11. Paparrazi Paparrazi says:

    I have an old bumper sticker from the 80s. It reads “Just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not after me”
    I ride with the same philosophy. They’er out to get me, each and every car, truck, bus you name it. So far I’ve narrowly avoided side, head on, rear enders and tbone impacts by being paranoid. Even ducked a semi truck retread flying off from the opposite direction and nipping my helmet because I always expect something to go wrong. Yes riding with that attitude does take away from the experience but it’s better than being broke into pieces or dead.

  12. Gerrard Scott Gerrard Scott says:

    I was almost sandwiched between a van and a large car driven by soneone not looking around on the 210 a couple of years back. The van guy gave me 2 ft of lane and my cam got me outta there.

    Does wonders for the heart ya know….

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