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.