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Crash victims still in critical condition

Accident that killed former CdM High School cheerleading coach has left five still in the hospital.

August 13, 2010|By Joseph Serna, joseph.serna@latimes.com

Three people remained in critical condition Friday and two others were released from the hospital days after a violent car crash near the Eastern Sierra community of Bishop killed a former Newport-Mesa cheerleading coach, officials said.

California Highway Patrol officials said five people are still being treated from the Monday night crash on Highway 395 south of Bishop that killed Wendy Rice, 35, the former cheerleading coach and director at Corona del Mar High School.

Rice, who led the high school squad from 2001 to 2008, was the cheerleading coach for California Baptist University in Riverside when she died. She was driving the second van in a three-vehicle caravan taking Cal Baptist cross-country runners into the Mammoth mountains for training.

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A 2004 Ford Expedition traveling down the mountain with five people lost control and crashed head on into Rice's van, killing her and injuring the van's dozen passengers. The Expedition, an SUV, caught fire in the crash, killing two of its passengers.

The SUV's three surviving passengers remain in critical condition, CHP officials said Friday. Derek Thomas, 19, is being treated at West Hills Hospital in Reno, Nev., and John Adams, 39, is being treated at Renown Hospital, also in Reno. Drew Delis, 22, was taken Thursday to UC San Diego's burn center.

Two of the passengers in the van driven by Rice are also still in the hospital. Miguel Gonzalez, 18, is in good condition at Northern Inyo Hospital in Bishop, and 20-year-old Rebecca Trupp's condition has been improved from critical to stable. She is being treated at Renown Hospital, police said.

Investigators are still working to determine the cause of the crash.

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