PERRIS: 15-year-old girl killed when struck by sheriff’s patrol SUV identified

PERRIS — Family and friends are in mourning after a 15-year-old girl died when she was struck by a deputy in a marked patrol SUV in the city of Perris, Thursday, Nov. 16. The fatal accident happened on N. Perris Boulevard, north of E. Nuevo Road, according to officials.

SEE RELATED: RIVERSIDE: Pedestrian in critical condition after struck by Riverside PD patrol vehicle

Sheriff’s officials discuss the accident the killed a 15-year-old Perris High School student. Loudlabs News photo

Leticia Ramirez, a freshman at Perris High School who transferred from Heritage High School in Menifee just two months ago, died after being transported to an area hospital.

The accident happened about 8:40 p.m., when an on-duty deputy from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Perris Police Station struck the girl who had darted across the roadway, Riverside County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Rick Zerkel explained in a written press release after the fatal accident.

According to Zerkel, the deputy was responding to a routine call for service.

After the accident the deputy immediately summoned medical personnel, while witnesses provided medical aid and comfort to Ramirez. When firefighters and paramedics arrived they began preforming CPR on the girl before rushing her to an area hospital where she later succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced dead by hospital staff.

Officers from California Highway Patrol’s Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team responded to the scene to conduct an accident investigation, said Zerkel.

During their investigation CHP determined Ramirez was struck by the deputy when she ran across the southbound lanes of Perris Boulevard and into the northbound lanes, directly into the path of the patrol vehicle.

Deputies and other emergency first responders rushed to the scene of the fatal accident that killed Leticia Ramirez. Loudlabs News photo

“The Riverside County Sheriff’s Professional Standards Bureau is investigating the officer’s compliance with Department Policy,” Zerkel explained.

Ramirez was identified publicly by Perris High Principal Juan Santos in separate Twitter and Facebook posts Friday morning.

“It is with a heavy heart I inform you one of our Panther students, Leticia Ramirez, passed away last evening,” Santos wrote. “The thoughts and prayers of the entire Perris High School community go out to her family. Leticia was a freshman and had a bright future ahead of her. Grief counselors are on campus to help students, staff, and parents deal with this tragic loss.”

Perris Union High School District has brought in its crisis team and extra counselors, The counselors will be available to any students, staff and parents who need them.

The fatal accident was one of two major, vehicle versus pedestrian accidents involving local law enforcement officers on Thursday.

The other accident happened in Riverside, when an on-duty police officer struck a 25-year-old pedestrian on Van Buren Boulevard, west of Wood Road, in Riverside.

The accident, that left the pedestrian in critical but stable condition, happened about 5:30 a.m.

CHP’s investigation into the collision involving Ramirez is active and ongoing.

Anyone with additional information about this accident or who witnessed the fatal collision and has not yet provided a statement is encouraged to immediately contact California Highway Patrol at (951) 637-8000. Callers can refer to incident file number PE173200110 and can remain anonymous.

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Contact the writer:

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Trevor Montgomery, who recently moved from Riverside County to Shasta County, 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 as well as 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, breaking his back and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries 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 27 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 14 grandchildren.


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  • lynne c vanbibber

    I wonder why its the pedestrians fault when a cop hits a pedestrians? If a normal person driving a car hits a pedestrian its the drivers fault even if the pedestrian darted across the roadway in front of them like in this accident. Can somebody answer this for me????

  • And they had two similar accidents by law enforcement in the same day with pedestrians. Pretty apparent they need to have regular driver safety drills. …. believe me I’m sure the drivers of those patrol cars feel awful and I know the families of the victims will be making out pretty well in law suits.

    You’re right though. If it a civilian involved in pedestrian accident that lead to a death that driver is tested for everything. God forbid they had recently used any drug because that’s what the cops will plaster all over the news about it. Drugs or alcohol were the factor when NO, that wasn’t the factor. Your life suddenly becomes a total nightmare. And cops get a a couple days off and that’s about it. Do they ever test them for drugs , alcohol , or mental health issues.?

    • Hi Kym,

      To answer a few of your questions, in California all incidents involving the death of another person, whether it be by handgun, vehicle or other means, anyone – including law enforcement officers – who commits the act, ie…the deputy who fatally struck this girl, would be tested for all intoxicants; including alcohol, illegal narcotics and prescription medications.

      In some cases involving law enforcement officer-caused deaths and in all cases involving an officer’s purposeful discharge of a weapon at a suspect or citizen, officers must undergo mandatory psychological testing before they can return to full duty. That is one of the main reasons departments place their officers on paid administrative leave following officer-involved shootings. To give the officer a chance to decompress and process as well as recover from what happened AND be psychologically evaluated and cleared to return to full duty.

      Hope that helps answer some of your questions. Keep in mind, what I explained is related specifically to California peace officers, in accordance with California Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST). Other states could be different.

      Best wishes,

      • Yes but you msde it sound like it was the victims fault and the Related one at top that wasnt the cop you made sound like it was driver fault

        • Every situation is different, Lynn.

          Many people wrongly assume that pedestrians automatically have the right of way while crossing a street, but that is not the case. Pedestrians only have the right of way while legally crossing a street, within a marked and established crosswalk or other designated area. When no legal means of crossing a street are readily available pedestrians still must cross the street in such a way so as not to put themselves and/or others in danger.

          In this case, the girl ran out into the street and she actually collided into the side of the passing patrol vehicle.


  • I’m so sorry and my condolences to the families of those victims

  • Well in the story you did on thanksgiving 2016 that was the case to but you made it sound like it was mans fault when the man ran out in front of him not in crosswalk but is that because hes not a cop

    • Lynne, do you have an issue with Law Enforcement, because his story from Thanksgiving does not put fault on anyone. He states it is being investigated just as CHP was investigating the 15 year olds death.

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