Community in mourning after homeless 3-year-old killed while crossing street

SAN BERNARDINO – A community is in mourning and a family is grieving the loss of their beloved, 3-year-old child, after the toddler was run down by an alleged drunk driver Thursday evening, April 27. The child was struck by a pickup truck while he was crossing a busy San Bernardino street with his family. The family was inside a marked cross walk when the toddler was fatally struck.

Nearby residents and others, who were already devastated after hearing news about the deadly accident, were further saddened after learning the family of the toddler is currently homeless.

The deadly, DUI-related accident happened about 5:50 p.m., on the 1000 block of W. Base Line Street, at the intersection of N. Davidson Avenue in San Bernardino.

According to officials, the family of four – including the victim’s mother, father and a sibling – was inside the cross walk and the toddler was holding his father’s hand when he was struck by the Chevrolet truck. The deadly collision happened after the driver of the truck went around other vehicles that had stopped while the family crossed the street.

After fatally striking the toddler, the driver, who officials later identified as Crystal Marie Fuentes, 34, of San Bernardino, failed to stop and continued driving eastbound, striking another westbound vehicle. She eventually stopped more than two blocks away.

It was not known if Fuentes stopped on her own or if she stopped due to her damaged truck becoming disabled.

Coroner’s officials and devastated family members later identified the victim as Michael Flores. Friends and family, who explained Michael loved to swim with his cousins and friends and would have turned four in June, said Michael’s tragic death has left his mother and father devastated.

 “She didn’t want to stop or wait”

San Bernardino Police and Fire officials responded to the scene after multiple horrified and traumatized witnesses called 911 to report the deadly accident.

When officials arrived at the scene, they found the critically injured toddler in the roadway. He was suffering from major traumatic injuries from being hit by the truck.

Medical personnel immediately began life-saving efforts; however, despite their best efforts, the victim succumbed to his injuries and medics pronounced him dead at the scene.

The victim’s sobbing and distraught parents were later seen a short distance away from their child. They were being consoled by witnesses and officials.

Officers detained Fuentes without further incident.

During their investigation, officials determined Fuentes was intoxicated when she struck the toddler and the other vehicle, according to San Bernardino Police Lt. Brian Harris.

Witnesses to the accident told investigating officers Fuentes “didn’t want to stop or wait” and went around a line of vehicles that had stopped to allow the family to cross the roadway. When Fuentes went around the stopped vehicles, she struck the toddler, in spite of the father’s efforts to pull him to safety.

During their investigation, officials called for the temporary closure of both directions of travel along Base Line Street. Several nearby streets were also affected by the investigation. The area remained closed to through traffic for several hours while forensic technicians photographed and documented the scene and collected evidence related to the accident.

After investigating the deadly collision, City of San Bernardino police officers arrested Fuentes on suspicion of DUI-related, gross vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence of alcohol.

“Yet another tragic and preventable death”

According to nearby residents the fatal accident, which nearby resident Bonnie Jenson said resulted in, “yet another senseless, tragic and preventable death,” was just the latest in a long list of other major accidents that have happened at the intersection.

The cross walk is clearly marked with two, 20-foot-tall, overhead flashing yellow lights and lighted yellow signs that indicate the presence of the cross walk. There are also two yellow “pedestrian crossing ahead” signs a block in each direction before the cross walk.

It was not immediately known if the signs were functioning when the boy was fatally struck; however, many locals have complained that in spite of the existing marked cross walk, signals, and signs, they are still not preventing accidents from happening. Many residents say they have complained to the city, saying what they need is an actual traffic signal at the intersection.

The speed limit on the stretch of street where the accident happened is 40 mph. Officials were still working to calculate and determine how fast Fuentes was driving at the time of the collision.

San Bernardino PD officials are investigating the accident. Their investigation is active and ongoing.

An online jail records search revealed Fuentes was booked into the West Valley Detention Center. She remains in custody on $250,000 bail and is scheduled to be seen at San Bernardino Superior Court May 1.

The victim’s mother, Fatima Flores, established a GoFundMe account to help the family pay for Michael’s funeral and other expenses. The family has also requested that anyone wanting to help them contact the Salvation Army at (909) 888-1336.

 

Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

trevor main

Trevor Montgomery runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News and Anza Valley Outlook and also writes for Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg and breaking his back in an off-duty accident.

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center and Lake Elsinore Station, along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 26 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and has 13 children and 12 – soon to be 13 – grandchildren.

RIVERSIDE: Man fatally shot near Riverside’s Downtown Entertainment District

RIVERSIDE – Officials are investigating after a man was fatally shot near the City of Riverside’s Downtown Entertainment District Thursday, April 27. The fatal, early-morning shooting happened less than one-quarter mile from the Riverside Convention Center, on the 3300 block of Fourth Street near Lime Street.

Officials attempted life-saving measures; however, the victim died at the scene. Loudlabs News photo

The victim, who died at the scene, has not yet been identified, pending notification of the man’s family and further investigation.

Riverside Police and Fire officials responded to the area after “several residents in the immediate area” called 911 to report “multiple gun shots being heard,” Riverside Police Officer Ryan Railsback explained in a written press release after the deadly incident.

When emergency first responders arrived at the location “they located an adult male who was suffering from what appeared to be a fatal gunshot wound,” said Railsback.

Firefighter/paramedics immediately began providing life-saving measures and attempted to revive the victim; however the man succumbed to his injuries and he was pronounced dead by medical personnel at the scene.

“Members of the Riverside Fire Department, along with (AMR) emergency medical technicians, were unable to resuscitate the man due to his injuries,” Railsback explained.

Riverside police officers discuss the deadly shooting. Loudlabs News photo

Witnesses at the scene later said the victim was suffering from at least one gunshot wound to the upper body.

One witness, who declined to be identified out of fear for her own safety, said she was inside a nearby residence when she heard “a bunch of loud pops.” When she went outside to check the area, she saw what appeared to be a person lying on the sidewalk.

“The man wasn’t moving at all,” the witness said. “At that point, I immediately locked my doors and called police, who arrived within minutes.”

“After that, it was like there were police and detectives everywhere,” the witness, who said she had already provided a statement to police, said.

Detectives from the department’s Robbery – Homicide Unit and Gang Intelligence Unit responded to the location and assumed the investigation. They were assisted by Riverside County Coroner officials, the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office and evidence technicians from the department’s Forensic Unit.

Officials remained at the scene of the deadly shooting for several hours. Loudlabs News photo

After interviewing witnesses from the scene, police later reportedly said they believe a suspect got out of a vehicle and fired numerous rounds before getting back into their vehicle and speeding away.

While officials investigated the deadly shooting, they temporarily closed Lime Street between Fifth and Third Streets in both directions. They also had closed down Fourth Street from Lime to Mulberry Streets.

The circumstances that led to the fatal shooting remain unknown and the investigation into the fatal incident is active and ongoing.

Anyone with information about this incident or who witnessed the deadly shooting is encouraged to contact Detective Jim Brandt at (951) 353-7137 or Detective Mike Medici at (951) 353-7104.

This is a developing story. Additional information will be updated as it becomes available.

Click any image to open full-size gallery.

 

Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

trevor main

Trevor Montgomery runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News and Anza Valley Outlook and also writes for Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg and breaking his back in an off-duty accident.

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center and Lake Elsinore Station, along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 26 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and has 13 children and 12 – soon to be 13 – grandchildren.

UPDATED: LAKE ELSINORE: Wildomar woman killed while walking in roadway ID’d

LAKE ELSINORE – A woman, who officials believe was under the influence of alcohol, was fatally struck by a vehicle just before midnight, Wednesday, April 26.

The woman was hit by a passing motorist after witnesses reportedly saw the inebriated woman walking in the lanes of traffic on Mission Trail near Sylvester Road in Lake Elsinore, according to sheriff’s officials.

“Witnesses saw the pedestrian in the street and urged her to come out of the roadway,” Riverside Sheriff’s Sergeant Nathan Kaas explained in a written press release after the deadly collision.

The woman was fatally struck moments later as she continued to walk in the roadway.

Riverside County coroner’s officials later identified Emer Stuart, 40, of Wildomar, as the pedestrian who was killed in the accident.

According to coroner’s officials, Stuart died at Inland Valley Medical Center about 12:37 a.m., just under an hour after she was hit.

Deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Lake Elsinore Police Station and other emergency first responders were dispatched to the area after Riverside County emergency dispatchers received several 911 calls from witnesses reporting the major-injury, vehicle versus pedestrian traffic collision about 11:53 p.m., according to Kaas.

When officials arrived at the scene they quickly located Stuart down in the roadway. The pedestrian was suffering from major traumatic injuries and was unresponsive. Deputies also located the driver of the vehicle that had struck the woman.

Firefighter/paramedics immediately began life-saving efforts on Stuart before American Medical Response medics transported the gravely injured woman to Inland Valley Medical Center for further evaluation and treatment.

Despite their best efforts, medical personnel at the hospital were not able to save Stuart. She succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced dead by hospital staff.

After Stuart was transported to the hospital, members of the Lake Elsinore Police Department’s Traffic Team responded to the location and assumed the investigation.

Investigating deputies located and interviewed several people who witnessed the fatal accident.

Their preliminary investigation revealed that just before the collision, witnesses saw Stuart in the street and urged her to come out of the roadway for her own safety. The woman reportedly refused and continued walking in the roadway, ultimately leading to her death.

“The driver of the vehicle involved was cooperative and showed no signs of impairment during the investigation,” said Kaas.

The investigation into the deadly accident is active and ongoing.

Anyone with information regarding this incident or who witnessed the deadly accident is encouraged to contact Officer Nicole Roberge of the Lake Elsinore Police Department Traffic Team at (951) 245-3300, or after hours at (951) 776-1099. Callers can refer to incident file number L171160123 and can remain anonymous. Citizens may also submit a tip using the Sheriff’s CrimeTips online form.

 

Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

trevor main

Trevor Montgomery runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News and Anza Valley Outlook and also writes for Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg and breaking his back in an off-duty accident.

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center and Lake Elsinore Station, along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 26 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and has 13 children and 12 – soon to be 13 – grandchildren.

HEMET: Officers recover stolen Mercedes Benz after owner locates, follows own vehicle

HEMET – Officers detained a woman after she allegedly hopped into a Hemet resident’s Mercedes Benz and drove off in it Thursday evening, April 27. The car was stolen while it was sitting in the owner’s driveway.

Officers speak with a woman who was detained after being stopped while driving a stolen car. Will Whelan/Hemet Valley Incidents photo

Shortly before 10 p.m., City of Hemet emergency dispatchers were notified by a 911 caller that they were following their stolen vehicle after the owner of the Mercedes spotted the car being driven in the area of S. Lyon and W. Thornton Avenues.

The owner of the car followed the vehicle thief from a safe distance for several blocks until Hemet police officers were able to intercept the stolen Mercedes in the area of Sanderson Avenue and Mustang Way.

After the driver of the stolen car turned westbound onto Mustang Way, Hemet police officers initiated a felony traffic stop on the vehicle on Mustang Way at Morgan Hill Road.

During the stop, officers called the sole female occupant from the car at gunpoint and she was detained for further investigation without incident.

It was not immediately known if officers arrested the driver, who was not identified by name or age. An online jail records search the day after the incident did not show any adult females being booked into any Riverside County jails related to the incident.

After Hemet police officers recovered the stolen vehicle, they released the vehicle back to its owner.

Click any image to open full-size gallery.

 

Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

trevor main

Trevor Montgomery runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News and Anza Valley Outlook and writes for Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg and breaking his back in an off-duty accident.

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center and Lake Elsinore Station, along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 26 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and has 13 children and 12 – soon to be 13 – grandchildren.

 

 

TEMECULA: Bicyclist, struck by pickup truck yesterday, dies at hospital

TEMECULA – A bicyclist has died after he was struck by a pickup truck Wednesday evening, April 26. The deadly accident happened in the area of Temecula and Pechanga Parkways in Temecula. Despite life-saving efforts, the bicyclist succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead by medical staff at the hospital the today, Thursday, April 27.

The victim has not yet been identified, pending notification of the man’s family.

Deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Temecula Police Station responded to the accident about 8:52 pm, after emergency dispatchers received several 911 calls reporting a major-injury traffic collision involving the bicyclist and the truck, Riverside County Sergeant William Pratt explained in a written press release after the accident.

When emergency first responders arrived at the scene, they found the bicyclist down in the roadway. Medical personnel quickly determined victim had sustained major, traumatic injuries in the collision. Firefighter/paramedics treated the victim at the scene, before AMR medics transported the man to an area hospital. He was listed in grave condition.

Deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Temecula PD’s Traffic Unit responded to the scene and assumed the investigation.

During their investigation, Traffic Unit members determined “a pickup truck turning right from Temecula Parkway to Pechanga Parkway collided with a bicyclist,” Pratt explained.

“There are no initial indications alcohol played a role in the collision,” said Pratt.

Part of the intersection was closed to traffic for several hours while officials conducted an investigation, which is active and ongoing.

Anyone with information about this incident or who witnessed the deadly collision is urged to contact Officer Carpenter at the Temecula Police Department at (951) 696-3000. Callers can refer to incident file number TE171160196 and can remain anonymous. Citizens may also submit a tip using the Sheriff’s CrimeTips online form.

 

Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

trevor main

Trevor Montgomery runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News and Anza Valley Outlook and also writes for Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg and breaking his back in an off-duty accident.

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center and Lake Elsinore Station, along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 26 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and has 13 children and 12 – soon to be 13 – grandchildren.