PERRIS: Citizens credited with extinguishing car blaze after fiery, head-on wreck
PERRIS — Sheriff’s officials are lauding citizens who reportedly used garden water hoses to extinguish a vehicle fire after a two-vehicle, head-on wreck that sent three people to the hospital, Thursday, May 25,
Officials later identified Edgar Mejia Quinones, of Perris, as the driver who reportedly caused the collision. Quinones is suspected of having been under the influence of alcohol at the time of the fiery crash, according to sheriff’s officials, who said the accident happened near the 800 block of Navajo Road in Perris.
Sheriff and fire officials responded to the scene of the crash just after 4:30 p.m., after witnesses called 911 to report the wreck. Callers told emergency dispatchers one of two vehicles involved in the collision had burst into flames after the impact.
When they arrived, emergency first responders located a Chevrolet Avalanche pickup truck and a Scion sedan. Both had sustained heavy front-end damage and vehicle parts and debris were strewn across the roadway. The truck was still smoldering from the extinguished fire that erupted after the crash.
Officials quickly determined that the two occupants from the truck were able to escape from the burning vehicle after the accident.
Firefighter/paramedics treated the three victims injured in the collision at the scene, before American Medical Response medics transported all three to area hospitals for further evaluation and treatment.
Officials did not specify the nature or extent of the three subject’s injuries.
While medical personnel treated the injured victims, deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Perris Police Station investigated the cause of the fiery collision.
During their investigation, deputies determined the Scion, which was being driven by Mejia, “was traveling westbound on Navajo Road when it drifted into oncoming traffic and collided head on into the Chevy,” Riverside Sheriff’s Sergeant Strang explained in a written press release after the accident.
“The Chevy caught on fire as its two injured occupants escaped the flames,” Strang explained.
Neighbors, who saw and/or heard the collision, “banded together with garden hoses to extinguish the flames prior to emergency personnel’s arrival to the scene,” according to Strang.
The two occupants from the truck and the suspected DUI driver were all transported to local hospitals with non-life threatening injuries, said Strang.
Based on their investigation, investigating deputies determined Quinones was driving under the influence of alcohol when the accident happened.
“Felony charges will be sought against Mejia Quinones upon his release from the hospital,” Strang explained. An online jail records search revealed Quinones had not yet been booked into jail as of June 1.
During their investigation, officials called for the temporary closure of a section of Navajo Road in both directions of travel.
After the conclusion of their investigation and after the vehicles and debris were cleared from the roadway.
This investigation into the fiery crash is active and ongoing.
Anyone with information on this investigation is encouraged to call Deputy Hamilton at the Perris Sheriff’s Station at (951) 210-1000. Callers can refer to incident file number PE171460081 and can remain anonymous. Citizens may also submit a tip using the Sheriff’s CrimeTips online form.
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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.