HOMELAND: One killed, one arrested, after fiery, rollover accident
HOMELAND — One person was killed and another was arrested after a fiery collision, Sunday afternoon, Aug. 20. The deadly accident happened in the 31800 block of Highway 74, near Clinton Avenue, in the unincorporated community of Homeland.
CHP officials, Cal Fire/Riverside County firefighters and other emergency first responders rushed to the scene of the fiery, two-vehicle wreck just after 3:30 p.m., after multiple other drivers and witnesses called 911 to report the accident.
This was the second fatal accident to happen in the San Jacinto valley Sunday. The other deadly accident happened on Sanderson Avenue, just south of Gilman Springs Road in San Jacinto.
The two accidents happened about 13 miles apart.
According to a CHP incident log, 911 callers told emergency dispatchers that one of the vehicles, described as a green, Ford Ranger pickup truck, had over-turned and burst into flames after the impact of the collision.
Eleven firefighters from three engine companies responded to the scene of the deadly crash, Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Public Information Officer Tawny Cabral explained in an incident report. They were assisted by members from Riverside County Fire’s Hazardous Materials Team.
When officials arrived at the scene, they found the truck engulfed in flames. Several good Samaritans had already dragged the driver of the truck away from the burning wreckage of his vehicle.
“The first arriving engine company reported two victims, one of whom perished at the scene,” said Cabral. Fire and police officials also found vehicle parts and debris scattered across the roadway, blocking lanes of traffic in both directions.
According to witnesses at the scene and CHP officials, the driver of the truck, who ultimately succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead by paramedics, was ejected from the vehicle when it over-turned.
During their investigation, CHP officials called for the temporary closure of SR-74, to ensure the safety of police and fire officials.
In an interview from the scene, CHP Officer Reddick explained that the grey Honda had been traveling westbound in the number one lane of SR-74, east of the Valero gas station, just before the deadly accident.
At the same time, the driver of the Ford Ranger, “left the Valero gas station from the east drive(way) and pulled out to travel west, directly into the number one lane,” and into the path of the oncoming Honda, said Reddick.
“The Honda impacted the rear of the pickup truck, causing the pickup truck to over-turn,” Reddick explained.
After the collision, both vehicles ended up in the opposing, eastbound lanes of traffic.
Based on their investigation, CHP officers arrested the driver of the Honda for suspicion of driving while under the influence, according to Reddick. Officials have not yet released the arrested driver’s name.
At the conclusion of their initial investigation, authorities seized both vehicles, towing them as evidence related to the suspected DUI.
CHP officials re-opened the roadway about two hours after the deadly crash; however, officials still remained at the scene as they continued their initial investigation into the crash.
Their investigation is active and ongoing.
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This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information becomes available.
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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, The Valley Chronicle 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 13 – soon to be 14 – grandchildren.