The CHP has released details of two off-highway vehicle crashes last weekend. Sunday, at 11:40 a.m., Gene Ciampa, 34, of Joshua Tree, was driving a 1976 dune buggy westbound in the open desert on BLM land east of Coyote Lake dry lake bed. Ciampa and passenger, Alisabeth Girten, 35, also of Joshua Tree, were ascending a small incline at approximately 5 miles per hour; Ciampa didn’t realize there was a steep drop-off into a ravine on the other side of the incline. The dune buggy went over the 40 foot drop-off and flipped onto its roof into the bottom. CHP Sergeant Turner was the first to arrive and provided medical aid to Girten until medical personnel arrived. Girten sustained life-threatening major head injuries and was flown by Sheriff’s helicopter to Desert Hospital in Palm Springs. Ciampa sustained non-life-threatening injuries and refused treatment. Both Girten and Ciampa were wearing 5-point safety harnesses, however, they were not wearing helmets. Neither alcohol nor drugs are suspected factors of this collision.
Friday, Shonna Vincent, 37, and Kimberly Ronga-Gonzalez, 39, both of Yucca Valley, were riding a Honda ATV eastbound on Botkin Road in Landers. Vincent was driving at an unknown speed when the ATV collided with an Acura Integra driven by John Perry, 26, of Yucca Valley. Both Vincent and Ronga-Gonzalez were flown by Mercy Air to Desert Hospital in Palm Springs for broken bones. Vincent was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence. Due to her injuries, Vincent was cited and released to the hospital.