Pedestrian hit by suspected drunk driver in Palm Springs sustains 'life-threatening injuries'

An ambulance responds to a crash scene.
An ambulance responds to a crash scene.

A 57-year-old woman was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries Wednesday after she was hit while walking by a suspected drunk driver in central Palm Springs.

The crash occurred at the intersection of Tahquitz Canyon Way and Sunrise Way at around 8:30 p.m., according to a statement published to Facebook Thursday by Palm Springs Police.

Officers arrived at the intersection to find the woman unresponsive in the road. She was taken to a hospital where she was in critical condition. Police Lt. Gustavo Araiza said the woman was in a crosswalk when she was hit but police are trying to determine if she was crossing legally. Police have not released her name.

The driver of the vehicle, 59-year-old Mark Blanchette of Palm Springs, remained at the scene. Officers said he showed what were described as "objective" signs of being under the influence. He was arrested for DUII and booked into jail in Indio.

The crash caused a portion of Sunrise Way at and south of Tahquitz Canyon Way to be closed for a few hours Wednesday night. The road has since reopened.

Paul Albani-Burgio covers breaking news and the City of Palm Springs. Follow him on Twitter at @albaniburgiop and via email at

This article originally appeared on Palm Springs Desert Sun: Pedestrian hit by suspected drunk driver in Palm Springs; sustains "life-threatening injuries"