A Temecula man who had been hospitalized in critical condition since an Oct. 6 car crash involving an alleged DUI driver has since died from his injuries, a sheriff-coroner’s official confirmed Monday.
Dustin Courts, 27, was pronounced deceased at midnight Friday, Oct. 11 at Inland Valley Medical Center, said Sgt. Bob Marks of the Riverside County Sheriff-Coroner’s office.
Courts had suffered traumatic injuries in the accident that was reported at 6:54 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 6 at the intersection of Rancho California and Margarita roads in Temecula. Courts was driving a 1998 Ford Contour when he was struck by a 1998 Dodge pickup truck being driven by 19-year-old Angel Lopez, Temecula police said at the time.
Responding traffic investigators determined that Lopez had allegedly been involved in a collision at Rancho California Road and Meadows Parkway just prior.
“During this collision, Lopez struck a vehicle and was fleeing the scene when he was involved in the collision at Rancho California Road and Margarita Road,” Temecula police Sgt. John Magnan stated in an Oct. 6 news release. “At this time of the investigation, officers determined that alcohol contributed to the cause of the collision.”
Jail records show Lopez was transported from Inland Valley Medical Center to Southwest Detention Center near Murrieta, where he has since been held on $135,000 bail on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol while causing a traffic collision with major injuries and driving under the influence of alcohol while causing a hit-and-run traffic collision.
Immediately following the accident, close family friends of Courts’ had set up a Web page seeking donations to help with his medical bills as well as ensuing financial hardship for his family. As of Monday, the page, titled “Let’s lend a hand to our homie Dustin and his family,” showed nearly $4,000 had been donated.
The Web page at Youcaring.com also allowed Courts’ friends and loved ones to post remarks. Here are some of those comments:
Jeff Gunderson: “Dustin was an amazing guy with a huge heart. I've known him since 6th grade and he always put a smile on my face. Rest in peace.”
Rachel Lewis: “My heart hurts for the Courts family... I'm so sorry you are going through this. Lots of love and hugs sent your way!”
Anonymous: “When times like this happen, we as a community must band together. Hope he recovers quickly, God Bless!”
Anusone Vorakhanh and Jade Cordova: “Prayers are with you and your family.”
AIP+Renn: “Love you bro…”
Did you know Dustin? What will you remember most about him? Share your comments below.