Although there were no traffic deaths in Orange County over the long Independence Day weekend, a Rancho Santa Margarita man was killed and another was charged with driving under the influence and manslaughter in a fatal car accident in Riverside County.
Tyler Sprout died from injuries suffered July 4 when he was thrown from a jeep that rolled down an embankment. He was 32.
The vehicle was being driven by Joseph Melton about 8:30 p.m.
According to the Palo Verde Valley Times, Melton, 32, was driving a 1976 Jeep on an off-highway dirt trail in the vicinity of US-95 near mile marker 30. He attempted to access the highway by driving up a dirt hill, but the car lost traction and rolled down the embankment.
The newspaper said Sprout was not wearing a seat belt, unlike Melton who sustained only minor injuries and was arrested at the crash site and booked into the Riverside County Sheriff's Jail on felony charges of driving under the influence and manslaughter.