Off-duty sheriff deputy killed in fiery Corona motorcycle accident

CORONA – An off-duty Los Angeles County deputy died from major traumatic injuries he suffered in a collision involving a second motorcyclist and two cars, Friday, May 27. The accident occurred on Hidden Valley Parkway near Garland Way, after a 57-year-old driver made a left turn out of a shopping center parking lot.

Philip Borja, 25, of Upland, and Zachariah Macias, 24, of Norco, were driving their motorcycles eastbound on Hidden Valley Parkway at about 4:25 p.m. when the fatal collision occurred.

The fiery wreck forced the closure of Hidden Valley Parkway – a main artery connecting the I15 and 91 freeways – for over seven hours.

When Debbie Ward, 57, of Norco – who was driving a white Ford Fusion – exited a Stater Bros. parking lot, she made a left turn onto the street. As she was pulling out of the parking lot, Ward’s car “entered into the path of travel of the two motorcycles” causing the fatal collision, according to a press release from Corona Police officials.

Borja struck the driver’s side of the Ford, according to a press release. Both motorcyclists were then forced into oncoming lanes of eastbound traffic.

Both riders reportedly smashed into a Volkswagen Beetle that had been traveling westbound on Hidden Valley Parkway, according to investigators. The Volkswagen was being driven by Marissa Frantz, 22, of Corona. Borja’s motorcycle and the Beetle both erupted into flames upon impact.

Corona Police officers and other emergency first responders rushed to the accident after City of Corona emergency communications dispatchers received numerous 911 calls from citizens reporting the tragic accident.

Philip Borjas died after being struck head on while riding a motorcycle in Corona. Borja family photo

Philip Borja died after being struck head on while riding a motorcycle in Corona. Borja family photo

Paramedics evaluated and treated Borja and Macias at the scene before they transported both victims to Riverside Community Hospital for further treatment.

Borja, who had been assigned to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Norwalk station, succumbed to his injuries at the hospital and was pronounced dead by hospital staff.

Macias was treated at the hospital and later released.

Neither Ward nor Frantz, the drivers and sole occupants of the Ford Fusion and Volkswagen Beetle were injured. After they were evaluated by paramedics, both declined further medical treatment.

After the collision, Corona Police officers called for the temporary closure of Hidden Valley Parkway, between Via Blairo and Garland Way, while they conducted an accident investigation. Officers re-opened the roadway just after midnight, Saturday, May 28.

Although no one has been cited  and no arrests have been made yet, the investigation is still ongoing.

Corona Police officials have urged anyone who witnessed the fatal collision to contact Corona Police Traffic Investigator Clark Eveland at (951) 817-5764. Callers can remain anonymous. Eveland can also be contacted via email at


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