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Fatal Hit-and-Run Crash Kills Debra Nicole Nelson in Indio

CATHEDRAL CITY, CA (March 24, 2021) – 18-year-old Debra Nelson, of Cathedral City, died on Friday after a hit-and-run crash on Monroe Street.

Per reports, a Dodge Dart slammed into a power pole going at speeds of at least 80 miles per hour on Tuesday morning. Shortly after the impact, the driver fled on foot.

Nelson was the passenger inside the vehicle, and was said to be 8 weeks pregnant. She was located in critical condition and rushed to a nearby trauma center.

Despite life-saving efforts, Nelson was pronounced dead at the hospital three days later.

The impact was so powerful that it caused the surrounding area lost power for nearly 30 hours as officials worked to repair the damage.

Moreover, the driver is currently on the run and charged for felony hit-and-run. The suspect is believed to be an adult male, although no further details have been provided.

Nelson’s mother, Darla Garcia, said she is determined to find the suspect. Monroe Street is said to be busy at most times, and they believe someone must have some insight as to what transpired. The family also set up a GoFundMe link to help raise funds during this devastating time.

More details will be given once available.


Sweet James extends their deepest condolences and sympathies with the family and friends of Debra Nicole Nelson.


Losing a loved one in a hit-and-run accident is always traumatic. It affects all aspects of life for those left behind. At Sweet James, they understand what you and your family are going through, and are here to help. They have dealt with a variety of cases including personal injury, wrongful death, and auto accidents. Contact their offices by calling (800) 975-3435 to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced legal professional in your area. They are also available 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week through email, text message, and online chat.

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LA Weekly