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UPDATE: Driver Dies in Fiery Crash on Hwy 79 South

Daniel Colon, 40, did not survive his injuries, authorities reported today.

Updated at 9:30 a.m. Aug. 17:

The driver of an SUV that wrecked Thursday night on Highway 79 South just east of Temecula city limits died in the fiery crash, authorities reported today.

Daniel Colon, 40, of Riverside, was pronounced dead at 8:25 p.m. at Rancho Springs Medical Center in Murrieta, the Riverside County Sheriff-Coroner's Office reported.

At 7:23 p.m., Colon was driving his 1998 Ford SUV southbound on Highway 79 South about a half-mile south of Los Caballos Road "at a high rate of speed approaching a slight curve in the roadway...(He) was unable to negotiate the curve and instead allowed his vehicle to leave the roadway to the left," according to reports compiled from the coroner's office and California Highway Patrol.

"(The driver) attempted to regain control of his vehicle by steering back toward the roadway but his steering movement was unsafe (which caused) the vehicle to veer sharply across both the northbound lane and the southbound lane where it left the roadway to the east," investigating CHP Officer L.J. Vicino wrote in a report.

The SUV became airborne and flew over a low-lying riverbed, then struck the raised culvert head-on, Vicino wrote. The SUV flipped onto its roof and caught on fire while the seat-belted driver was trapped inside, he wrote.

Several passers-by stopped to extinguish the fire and pull him from the fiery wreckage, Vicino wrote.

Emergency personnel including Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department and American Medical Response responded to the scene, where they attempted to revive the patient.

Colon was transported to Rancho Springs Medical Center, where he died from blunt force trauma to the head and body, CHP reported.

A road closure was set up at the crash site by about 8:40 p.m. The closure was in effect for nearly two hours as officials investigated the crash.

Patch spoke with the victim's sister, Omayra Colon Schorr, who thanked those who stopped to help.

"Daniel Colon's family in Florida thanks you for the efforts you provided to help our beloved son and brother," Schorr said.

Editor's note: This article has been corrected to note there was only one victim in the crash. Patch previously reported there were two, but has not been able to confirm that. The make of the vehicle has also been corrected from a Jeep to a Ford. We apologize for the errors.

amy August 18, 2012 at 02:01 AM
I am using my wife's profile. I came to the accident when the car was still burning. I could see that Danny was already dead. I grabbed a shovel from a man who looked tired and shoveled dirt on the fire. I wish there was more I could have done. The shovel is still sticking out of the ground where I left it. My heart goes out to Danny's friends and family; although I didn't know him, I couldn't avoid creating a bond with him. I, and my wife, am praying for everyone in this situation. Matthew 11:28.
cookie August 18, 2012 at 02:03 AM
*"Myra Sue*" this is cookie ~ mike schimanskys sister. My entire family is here for you and your parents. Whatever we can do please contact us. We are all praying that your family can find peace in this tragedy. Please know you are not alone as we are all here to help. We are all praying for you and your family.
Omayra Schorr August 18, 2012 at 01:13 PM
THank you soo much for your courage. It helps to know he did not suffer after impact. My family and I thank you VERY VERY MUCH!!!
Omayra Schorr August 18, 2012 at 01:16 PM
COOKIE!!!! Send my love to your family!!! Thank you for reaching out. Please let Mike know and to contact us so he can attend the services we will be having as soon as we bring Danny home to florida. omayrita1@bellsouth.net
Omayra Schorr August 18, 2012 at 01:17 PM
Thank you, Renee.
Omayra Schorr August 18, 2012 at 01:20 PM
Thank You!!!
Omayra Schorr August 18, 2012 at 01:27 PM
Thank you, Lori Bately for praying over my brother, Daniel!
Omayra Schorr August 18, 2012 at 01:32 PM
Thank you, Lori Batey, your husband, and EVERYONE else that helped. Danny always commented on how nice the people there are.
Renee C August 18, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Myra, you are so welcome....please let me know if there is anything I can do to help! Please keep me posted on the details of the services if at all possible I would like to be there. Please hug and send my love to your parents!! Again our deepest sympathy! Much love!!!!! Renee
Sommer August 18, 2012 at 03:23 PM
I spoke to Danny only a few hours before this incident. I live in Florida and after speaking to him..... Booked my flight to go visit him in October. His last words to me is I can't wait, I have something to look forward to. It's hard to go to bed with excitement of knowing your going to see someone you love very much.... Only to wake up to find out that you will never see him again. Canceling my flight was hard! ...... But the one thing I can say is that the last time I heard his voice..... He was very happy. That was the one thing that anyone that knows Danny.... He had a heart of gold. His laugh was infectious. His eyes as blue as the sky...... Only saw the good in people and you always felt his genuine love for life and loyalty as a friend. I love you Danny. Always and forever........ Love your Butterfly!
Anna August 18, 2012 at 09:26 PM
Me and my boyfriend were the second people on the scene. We were on the way back home and saw the crush. We pulled over and my boyfriend rushed to help to flip the car of its side. Then people started to stop and were helping to put the fire out. They gathered water bottles from their cars and somebody had a shovel so they were throwing sand to help to put out the fire. At that time I was holding his head while off duty fire fighter performed cpr. A lot of people helped and worked together. We did our best to try to save him but the accident was pretty bad. I'm glad I got to see his normal picture because for the last couple days I couldn't get the image from the crash off my head. My sympathy to his friends and family and we tried our best to save him....
Tina Hemmis August 18, 2012 at 10:12 PM
Omayra I know you dont know me my name is Tina I went to high school with Danny I'm in such disbelief n sadness I'm at a loss for words but one thing I do know that he was such an amazing & talented person and I wanted you and your family to know that my heart goes out to you & your family he will be truly missed & will be forever in my heart.
Omayra Schorr August 19, 2012 at 01:13 AM
ANNA!!! THANK YOU FOR HELPING MY BROTHER!!!!
Omayra Schorr August 19, 2012 at 01:13 AM
Thank you, Tina.
Brenda August 19, 2012 at 01:37 AM
Our Patch editor Maggie has brought many people together unknowingly with the writing of this article and all the people it has touched with Danny's death. Who knew Maggie with the fire early last week and this accident, we would see again, over and over a repeat of our community and the people in it reaching out without thinking, helping in whatever way they can, no matter how dangerous, or heartwrenching as this death of Danny. Now with a picture of this beautiful man named Danny, smiling huge, we all know him in our hearts. From the heartfelt comments from people at the wreck scene, to his friends here who were notified, from strangers, and then his own family back east who came to the article and comments to tell us about Danny, who we were all mourning. Telling us what a wonderful free spirted easy going man he was with his love of life, family and friends.
Brenda August 19, 2012 at 01:37 AM
Danny's family, friends, strangers, everyone who stopped to help him and hold him at the moment his soul went with our Lord, people who thought they could never help with such horrible accident and injuries, for every item people grabbed to help Danny out of the vehicle, towel, shovel, knife, water, for the life saving attempts of CPR, putting the fire out to get to him, for the "white" grasshopper(or butterfly) that just at "that" moment of breeze and peace landed on the man giving Cpr's shoulder. To our rescue teams tired from a fire, hot and exhausted racing out to try and save his life to no avail and the pain they feel everytime they cannot save a life. To everyone who touched Danny, during and now days after, here in Temecula and back east, may God bless all of you, all of us who in some way Danny touched in returned.
Lissette Bond August 19, 2012 at 01:59 AM
Omayra, I'm so sorry. I literally found out this morning. Bless the hearts of those who took the time out to help him. I believe he is resting in peace. I'm still in shock! I'm on my way now to church. I will pray and light a candle for you and your family. Lissette
Sommer August 19, 2012 at 02:20 AM
To all the people who were there in his last moments... Thank u.... U are true heros. Just knowing Danny... He would've done the same if the situation were turned. As for Danny's family...... My hearts go out to u. My prayers and love are with u. I love u Danny! Always will.
lindy August 19, 2012 at 03:32 AM
Hi Omayra, I'm truly sorry for your lost. Danny and I were friends from P.S. 110. I've been praying for your family the whole day since i've heard the news about Danny. I would like to attend his services with respect and permission from the family first. May the peace of God surround all of you.
Rebecca Ramos August 19, 2012 at 03:43 PM
To all who helped out and were there by his side THANK YOU SO MUCH! You are all true heroes. God bless you all! My heart goes out to Danny's family. You all will be in my prayers and may God give you comfort and peace during this time. I am so in shock! I will always love you Danny! I will see you again in heaven.
Juany Colon August 19, 2012 at 07:43 PM
I second Omayra 's , Danny's sister , words. Than you to all the people that helped Danny. He was my first cousin. It is so great to see that there still kindness on this world, that people took time to help a Danny , not only on the accident , but also pray for him, ensuring he did not felt alone. God bless you all. Danny come from a very loving, kind, and united family. A very giving family, that like just these heroes has helped others in need. I am glad to know that Danny's parents and sister has the consolation that other kind souls surrounded their son. Thank you.
Yvonne August 21, 2012 at 04:32 PM
Omayra! I could not believe what I read .... my heart is just bleeding right now ... I remember you both as little kids and you growing up with my little sister. My heart pours out to you and your family...I am so sorry for your loss! I wish we were near just to be by your side and comfort you as best we know how. We love you ALWAYS..!! God has yet called upon another "Angel". My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family!! Love always, Yvonne (Melissa's sister - 312 Delancey)
Lily Benjamin August 22, 2012 at 03:46 AM
Danny was my cousin... all I can say is thank you all who helped and cared selflessly, who took your time and effort in hope of keeping Danny here with us... Lori, God bless you for your holding him and for your prayers... I also want to thank you ALL that in one way or the other did something to assist... your actions are helping us cope with this loss... Danny is now in a better place, and I know that we all now have another Angel up there watching over us... God bless...
Lori Batey August 30, 2012 at 01:22 AM
Lily & Kellie~ thank you, but my part in that evening was ALL God's doing. He truly does know each & every one of us intimately. My husband suggested I look up the spiritual meaning of a white praying mantis & grasshopper (honestly not sure which it was) that I saw sitting so still on the gentleman's shoulder giving m2m. I learned: white is very rare, the praying mantis is the oldest symbol of God: the African Bushman’s manifestation of God come to Earth, “the voice of the infinite in the small,”* a divine messenger." The mantis comes to us when we are among chaos & in of need peace & calm. Grasshoppers are..."associated w/astral travel. They have the ability to leap through time & into space where the true mysteries of life exist." "Grasshopper's ability to connect and understand sound vibrations is why he is also a symbol of your inner voice. he could be telling you to trust yours." It goes w/out saying I was speechless when I read all of this knowing how lost I'd felt in the chaos & not knowing what I should do as I looked at Danny; then feeling moved to simply put my hand on him & pray outloud. As a Christian, it was a profound confirmation for me of just how real God is right down to that tiny creature sitting so quietly while a man gives M2M to an otherwise perfect stranger. It's moments like those when we glimpse life in a profoundly meaningful way. Danny, you have reminded me how truly connected we all are & I love you and thank you so much for that.
Brenda August 30, 2012 at 02:46 AM
Lord Lori that is beautiful and hits hard in the heart and certainly our minds with reaffirmation of God being around us, especially noticeable at times like this one. When you said way up at the beginning about the grasshopper I remembered some of the meanings of them, and the name given to David Carradine in Kung Fu and he played the part of a Warrior Monk. We all know what a warrior is, but a Monk uses more healing and mythical religious means to heal and teach of religion, with the aim of pursuing religious and spiritual goals. As a warrior he did both and thus the name Grasshopper, one man with one voice, teaching others and bringing messages to those who needed them at that time. If you remember the show, its goes aways back. But now that you have read up on this it exactly matches the stories on Kung Fu and his meaning in life and what he was set out to do as the Grasshopper. I know its strange, but I think you are the Grasshopper Lori. You brought the peace, understanding, love, quiet working in an attempt to save a life, that everyone around you felt. Your message to everyone about this is sure to change some lives and beliefs as it has to me. Thank you. For you and the Grasshopper.
Misty Jackson September 13, 2012 at 01:02 AM
I didn't know Danny in life. I really hate to do this here, but this is the only way I could get a message to Danny's sister. I should explain, I am a medium. I don't do this for a living, it was a gift I was born with. The night before last, I happened to be driving past the area Danny flipped his truck. His spirit was running along side my car. I told my husband there was a spirit trying to get my attention. Unfortunately, we were on our way to comfort my mother who had just lost her husband, so I was unable to stop and talk to this spirit. Last night, I was again on my way to be with my mother. When I passed through that area again, this spirit found his way to he passenger seat of my car. He kept showing me my son, which startled me. I didn't know why at first, but was able to figure out this was his way of telling me his name. My sons name is Daniel. He then kept showing me a ticket and said repeatedly to tell my sister I'm sorry about the ticket. I don't know what that means, but that is the message he wanted me to give her. He rode with me the 20 more miles to my mothers house in peace. When we arrived, he kept showing me a computer and telling me to look. That is how I found this article. I don't ever do readings like this, but I believe this wa Danny's way of making sure his message was delivered. He is at peace. Please make sure his family knows that.
Brenda September 13, 2012 at 01:44 AM
I am speechless at the moment. This is something I do believe in and I am reflecting on it, and also out of all the deaths similar to this one, ie bike riders, cars, all type of accidents either with the vicim alone or other cars, the last month, and why it was this one that drew your abilities out. Not only out but to give a very detailed message.
Omayra Schorr September 13, 2012 at 03:05 AM
Misty... Wow, thank you for reaching out to me...I cannot think of what a "ticket" could mean. Expect that my parents have his ashes and are waiting for his death certificate in order to buy their ticket to go to Puerto Rico to release his ashes! ... And my parents live with me!!!
Omayra Schorr September 13, 2012 at 03:08 AM
Why would he be sorry????
Brenda September 13, 2012 at 03:12 AM
Omayra, perhaps he had a speeding ticket or something he had not paid? Might look into that, and he is sorry he didnt take care of it? Could be plane ticket if it is causing everyone alot of stress and he knows that. Only two types of tickets I can think of myself huney.

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