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Soccer coaches among 4 dead in California desert crash

Four people were killed Monday in a head-on collision involving a vehicle and a big rig on State Route 177, about 19 miles north of Desert Center in Riverside County.
(Brian Mumey)

Officials say two Southern California high school soccer coaches and two of their former players were killed in a head-on collision involving their car and a big rig on a two-lane desert highway.

The California Highway Patrol says the crash occurred Monday afternoon on State Route 177 near Joshua Tree National Park.

School district officials said Tuesday that Matt Hodges, 30, and Gabrielle Constante, 20, both coaches at Ayala High School in Chino Hills, were killed. Two of their former players, Marissa Garnica, 20, and Jessica Giraldo, 21, were also killed.

The CHP says three people died at the scene and the fourth was pronounced dead at a Palm Springs hospital.

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The Murrieta Valley Unified School District says the three women were best friends from childhood.


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