HEMET: Possible road-rage incident leads to rollover accident
John Strangis contributed to this report.
HEMET – Two women were injured in a two-vehicle, rollover traffic accident following a possible road-rage incident Tuesday, May 9. The minor-injury wreck happened at the intersection of Stetson Avenue and State Street in Hemet after the driver of an SUV allegedly made repeated attempts to run a motorcyclist off the roadway.
Stewart Sarringar was riding his motorcycle eastbound on Stetson Avenue near S. Lyon Avenue when he first saw the SUV approaching from behind.
He later explained what happened in the moments before the crash, saying, “She tried to run me over.” (See entire interview in video below.)
“I was on my motorcycle at a red light and I glance in my rear view mirror and I see this car just bearing down on me, straddling the line, ” Sarringar explained.
Sarringar said he swerved his motorcycle and avoided being struck from behind and then “told (the driver) to be careful.”
Sarringar said when the light turned green he waited momentarily so he could get the SUV’s license plate number but the other driver refused to drive forward.
After the two exchanged a few “irritated” glances Sarringar continued on from the intersection; however, he pulled over to the right so he could obtain the SUV’s license plate number.
“I got over to the right and she comes screaming up on me again and tried to push me off the road,” said Sarringar, who claimed the driver tried to force him off the road three more times over the next three blocks.
Sarringar said throughout the incident the passenger from the SUV had her cell phone out the window and she was either photographing or filming him.
Sarringar wanted to call 911 to report the driver’s aggressive actions and he eventually pulled into the Chevron gas station at the intersection, just moments before the accident occurred.
“Just before I pulled in I saw her approaching (the) intersection,” Sarringar explained. “She looked like (she was going) 80 mph, at least.”
After the wreck, Sarringar immediately pulled over to see how he could help.
Hemet Police and Fire officials responded to the rollover crash at 1:50 pm. They were assisted by American Medical Response medics. When they arrived, officials found two vehicles in the roadway. The blue SUV involved in the alleged road-rage incident was on its side. What appeared to be groceries were spilled all over the roadway next to the overturned vehicle.
After the accident, while officers were investigating the cause of the collision, the two occupants from the overturned SUV were seen crying on the sidewalk as they talked to fire and police officials.
AMR medics eventually transported both women to a local hospital for further evaluation and treatment. Both reportedly sustained minor injuries.
It was not immediately known if any charges were to be filed against any of those involved in the alleged road rage incident or the subsequent crash.
Hemet police officials are investigating the cause of the collision as well as the incident that preceded the crash.
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John Strangis video
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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.