Crash claims third victim

cheryl.jpgA Riverside woman is the third person to die following a high-speed single-vehicle crash on May 17.

Cheryl Walters, who turned 19 five days after the accident, was driving a Dodge Ram pickup when she lost control as the truck crossed the railroad tracks on Jefferson Street near the Riverside Auto Center. The truck hit a palm tree.

According to the Riverside County coroner’s office, 18-year-old John Masgula died at the scene and Robert Robinson, 21, died later that night at Riverside Community Hospital. Both were from Riverside.

Walters, one of two women in the truck, had been in a coma since the accident.

Her father, Eddie Burton, tells “she passed away at 5:40 p.m. on Thursday. Cheryls family is right here in Corona, California, although she was born and raised in New Jersey, having moved here with us 2 years ago. We will be returning her back to NJ so that her friends and family back there can pay their respects.”

Walters worked at Body Tan Salon and Spa in Riverside. “She was like part of our family; everyone here is. This has really shaken us up,” said owner Suzanna DeSimone. A photo collage of Walters now sits on the salon’s front counter.

Burton also asked to clarify details surrounding the accident. “The truck never rolled. It was in a lateral skid when it impacted the tree, wrapping partially around the trunk. The drivers compartment was penetrated about 1/2 way” Burton said.

You can read our original report, from the police department press release, by clicking here.

— posted at 1 p.m. by Craig Fiegener

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Friday, May 30, 2008

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