[02-26-2024] Details Released in Fatal Crash on Whitewood Road that Claimed Life of Murrieta Man

Murrieta, CA — A tragic incident unfolded on Monday night as a man walking along Whitewood Road was struck by three vehicles, ultimately leading to his demise, according to recent updates from the Murrieta Police Department.

The victim was identified by the county coroner’s office as 44-year-old Leny Palma Gaitan, a resident of Murrieta. Following the crash, Gaitan was rushed to Inland Valley Hospital in Wildomar, where he was pronounced dead approximately 30 minutes after the 7:29 p.m. collision on the southbound side of Whitewood, about 423 feet north of Somers Road, as per the coroner’s report.

Initial findings from the Murrieta police’s preliminary investigation revealed that Gaitan was walking along the traffic lanes, outside of a designated pedestrian crosswalk, at the time of the accident.

“It is unknown at this time why the pedestrian was walking in the roadway,” stated the police.

Authorities found no evidence indicating excessive speed or driver impairment among the involved vehicles. However, investigators are actively exploring the possibility of impairment on Gaitan’s part during the incident.

Individuals with any information pertinent to the incident, who have not yet been contacted by a Murrieta police officer or investigator, are urged to reach out to Murrieta Police Traffic Investigator Larsen at 951-200-9368 or plarsen@murrietaca.gov, or Traffic Bureau Sergeant Steve Whiddon at 951-461-6323 or swhiddon@murrietaca.gov.

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