Three people were injured Wednesday when a stolen car overturned onto Union Pacific tracks in San Timoteo Canyon and a train conductor managed to stop short of the wreck and the ejected occupants, a California Highway Patrol spokesman said.
The stolen car driver was high on meth, according to the CHP.
The crash occurred shortly after 1:30 p.m. when Angel Morales, 20, was allegedly driving a stolen Honda Civic and tried to pass another vehicle on San Timoteo Canyon Road, just east of Redlands Boulevard, CHP Sgt. Randy Costello said in a phone interview.
Witnesses said Morales was driving west at a high rate of speed when he tried to pass a slower-moving vehicle on a curve and crossed over double yellow lines, CHP Officer Darren Meyer said in a statement.
Morales lost control of the vehicle as it overturned onto the north shoulder, and he and both his passengers were ejected from the vehicle onto Union Pacific railroad tracks, Meyer said.
"The conductor of an approaching freight train witnessed the collision and was able to stop the train just a few hundred feet from the bodies and damaged car on the tracks," Meyer said.
Neither Morales nor his passengers, Richard Morales and an unidentified female, were wearing seatbelts, Meyer said. They were transported by ambulance to Riverside County Regional Medical Center with serious injuries, Meyer said.
Angel Morales was arrested at the hospital for felony driving under the influence of methamphetamine and driving a stolen vehicle, Meyer said.
The Honda was reported stolen from Rialto earlier Wednesday, according to the Highway Patrol.
The crash, emergency response, and investigation closed San Timoteo Canyon Road for about three hours and disrupted Union Pacific railroad traffic for about two hours, Meyer said.
The incident was being investigated by CHP Officer William Strom. Anyone with further information was urged to the CHP San Gorgonio office in Beaumont at (951) 769-2000.