DETAILS INTO SATURDAY JOSHUA TREE FATAL CRASH AFTER A YUCCA VALLEY ARMED ROBBERY

DETAILS INTO SATURDAY JOSHUA TREE FATAL CRASH AFTER A YUCCA VALLEY ARMED ROBBERY

The Sheriff’s Department and California Highway Patrol have completed their reports on the armed robbery and fatal crash in Yucca Valley and Joshua Tree Saturday. According to Sheriff’s Sergeant Matt Yost, Scott Grogins, 25, went to a home in the 7200 block of Palo Alto in Yucca Valley about 3 p.m. Saturday to collect payment of $140, which he said the resident stole from him. Yost said Grogins had a gun, and forced the residents to empty their pockets. When the residents told him he had to leave, he left, but Yost said Grogins came back about 4 p.m. with at least two other people, including Tara Palkman, 25, and an unidentified man. The victims told police that Grogins then forced his way into their home, pointed a gun at them, and stole several items before leaving in a 2014 black Nissan with his companions. About 5 p.m., CHP Officer Carr reports that Sean Keller, 21, of Moreno Valley was driving the Nissan at more than 100 miles per hour eastbound on Alta Loma Drive. Both the Sheriff’s Department and the CHP report that NO law enforcement vehicles were in pursuit of the car. Keller lost control of his car when it became airborne after a small dip in the road, just west of Sunny Vista Road. The car struck a berm on the north side of the road and rolled over several times out into the open desert. Keller was transported by helicopter to Desert Hospital in Palm Springs where he died about 6:30. Michael Cottler, 37, of Crestline, a passenger in the car, was not wearing a seatbelt and was thrown from the car. He died at Hi-Desert Medical Center about an hour after the crash. Rescue personnel had to use the Jaws of Life to remove all the doors to the car and the car’s roof in order to get to Tara Palkman and Scott Grogins, who both received major injuries in the crash. They were flown to Desert Hospital.

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