Lake crash victim dies


The passenger in the vehicle that was submerged in a local lake has died.

Eileen Olive Brown, 46, was pronounced dead several hours after Monday’s crash in Rancho Mirage. Her stepmother, Bernadette Rose Lopez, 59, of Maricopa, remains at Chandler Regional Medical Center in the trauma unit. Lopez was the vehicle’s driver.

Maricopa Police Department spokesman Ricky Alvarado said MPD personnel have not been able to speak with Lopez to learn what may have caused the crash.

Bystander Damon Burke, who helped first responders at the scene, estimated Brown had been under water at least 10 minutes.

The morning of the accident, MPD officers followed by Maricopa Fire personnel first worked to remove Lopez from the cold water. They returned for Brown, but she was described as unresponsive throughout all life-saving measures before she and Lopez were transported to Chandler Regional.

The Chevy Venture van knocked down a tree and a fire hydrant on its way into the lake. The initial 911 calls came in at 8:39 a.m.