Traffic collision reported on Highway 86 in Brawley

A traffic collision involving three vehicles occurred on Highway 86 and Panno shortly before 4 p.m. today.

BRAWLEY - A man suspected of driving under the influence and vehicular manslaughter has been arrested following a three-vehicle collision in which a man died Sunday afternoon.

A preliminary investigation of the accident indicates that a full-size SUV driven by Calipatria resident Scotty De La Torre, 27, was headed north on Highway 86 when he failed to stop at the stoplight and rear-ended another full-size SUV stopped at the light, according to Brawley police.

The impact caused the second vehicle to be launched into the intersection where it hit a small compact vehicle making a left turn. The second SUV burst into flames.

Bystanders reportedly tried to assist the man in the SUV but couldn't due to the intensity of the fire. 

The man was trapped in the vehicle and died at the scene. De La Torre and the other driver were transported to Pioneer's Memorial Hospital where they were treated and released.

De La Torre was arrested at the hospital and booked into Imperial County jail for suspicion of felony driving under the influence and vehicular manslaughter. Bail is set at $100,000.

The Imperial County Coroner's Office has run the plates of the vehicle which caught fire. They have a probable name of the person who died and have contacted that person's family, Deputy Coroner Steven Green said.

However, confirmation of the identity is pending dental X-rays, and results could take several days. An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday.

The incident remains under investigation. 

Staff Writer Chelcey Adami can be reached at 760-337-3452 or

I covered the border and Calexico for two-and-a-half years but am now the courts and crime reporter. I studied journalism at the University of Texas at Austin and previously worked as a staff photographer in Austin, Dallas, Costa Rica and rural Oklahoma.

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