UPDATE: One driver killed in fiery, two-car wreck in Perris

UPDATED: 6/3/2016 5:30 p.m. With pictures and witness statements

 

Firefighters quickly controlled the blaze; however an elderly male reportedly died in the fiery wreck.

Firefighters quickly controlled the blaze; however an elderly male reportedly died in the fiery wreck. Christina Hammon Miller photo

PERRIS – One person has died and another suffered minor injuries in a fiery traffic collision in Perris, a fire official confirmed.

The accident happened Friday, June 3, on Highway 74 near Taylor Road in an unincorporated county area northeast of Lake Elsinore and southwest of Perris.

Emergency first responders from multiple agencies responded to the fatal wreck at 1:05 p.m., after Riverside County emergency communications dispatchers received numerous 911 calls from citizens reporting the accident.

Witnesses at the scene who saw the fatal collision told dispatchers an elderly male was trapped inside the vehicle before it ruptured into flames. They reportedly tried to pull the man from the vehicle; however, they were unable to extricate him from his car before it caught fire. One man said he had checked the victim for a pulse before the fire started and was unable to find one.

The small four-door car reportedly erupted flames within minutes of the initial collision. Michelle Lewis photo

The small four-door car reportedly erupted flames within minutes of the collision. Michelle Lewis photo

Upon arrival, firefighters, paramedics, and law enforcement personnel found a small four-door car fully engulfed in flames. The other vehicle, a white four-door SUV sustained heavy damage to the front driver’s side.

Firefighters worked to extinguish the car fire while paramedics evaluated and treated the driver from the SUV. Paramedics transported the driver of the SUV by ground ambulance to a local area hospital for further treatment.

Once firefighters had put out the blaze, they were able to confirm the driver from inside the vehicle succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene, Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Public Information Officer Jennifer Fuhrman wrote in a press release.

Michelle Lewis, a witness from the scene of the fatal collision, described the chaotic incident.

“My daughter and I were heading home on Highway 74 when we noticed a large plume of black smoke coming from a car in the middle of the roadway,” Lewis explained. “Within moments, traffic was fully stopped in both directions.”

The other vehicle involved in the accident sustained heavy front end damage. Michelle Lewis photo

The other vehicle involved in the accident sustained heavy front end damage. Michelle Lewis photo

“Citizens were helping the people in the white SUV and the other vehicle was fully engulfed in fire,” Lewis said.

Lewis spoke to a person at the scene who witnessed the accident who told her that he and another man tried to pull the fatally injured man from the wrecked car.

“He said he and the other man had attempted to help the victim before the car sparked and caught fire,” according to Lewis.

The two men reportedly found the victim “slumped over the steering wheel and he had no pulse,” Lewis said. The man described the victim as being in his 80’s.

While waiting for the arrival of fire and medical personnel, the small car suddenly erupted into flames, according to Lewis; leaving witnesses, motorists, and bystanders helpless to do anything further.

 

This is a developing story. More information will be added as it becomes available.

Michelle Lewis photo

Michelle Lewis photo

Michelle Lewis photo

Michelle Lewis photo

Michelle Lewis photo

Christina Hammon Miller photo

Michelle Lewis photo

Michelle Lewis photo

Michelle Lewis photo

Michelle Lewis photo

Michelle Lewis photo

Christina Hammon Miller photo

 

Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

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14 comments

  • How horrible. I wonder if the man driving the car that caught fire must have been driving at a high rate of speed for it to just go up in flames so quickly?

  • Elderly person was driving in opposite lane in the opposite direction, driving fine like if that was the correct lane he was supposed to be in, either he thought that he was in the correct lane or he wanted to get killed. two cars prior to the one that hit were able to react on time and change lanes on time not hitting him, letting him continued, elderly
    Person continue driving in his opposite lane, until he hit a car.

  • People, compassion in cases like this is always welcome. He was my uncle, he was a father and a grandfather. He wasn’t on a suicide mission. I am very sorry for the people in the other caŕ. He leaves behind his family who are heart broken. It was an accident, that’s why they are called accidents. I pray my uncle was dead before his car caught fire and I want to say Thank-you to the very brave and nice people who tried to save him. People, please think about what you say before you blast people. He has always been a good caring man who never hurt anyone. You will be missed Uncle.

    • Robin,

      I am sorry for your loss! Myself and another gentleman tried to pull him from the car before the flames got too big, but his legs were trapped. I was trying to pull his legs free when the flames overwhelmed us. Rest assured that he was gone before the flames got to him.

      God bless you and your family! I wish I could have done more!

      Regards,

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