ANZA: Officials investigating after marijuana theft ends with two in critical condition

ANZA — Homicide detectives are investigating after two people were left in critical condition and had to be life-flighted following a collision between a pickup truck and an off-road vehicle.

According to sheriff’s officials, the Friday, Nov. 17 incident was related to the theft of marijuana plants.

Although officials have not specified where the marijuana plants were stolen from, citing the ongoing investigation, the major-injury crash happened on the 59000 block of Everett Road, near El Toro Road, in Anza, Riverside Sheriff’s Sergeant Wallace Clear explained after the incident.

California Highway Patrol officers, Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire personnel and other emergency first responders were dispatched to the scene of the crash about 4:43 p.m., after witnesses called 911 to report the collision.

Nine firefighters from two engine companies responded to the scene of the crash, Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Public Information Officer April Newman explained in an incident report. They were assisted by a paramedic squad.

When officials arrived, they found a damaged off-road vehicle and two people who had sustained major, traumatic injuries.

Because of the severity of the victim’s injuries, fire officials requested two air ambulances respond to the scene.

Mercy Air Ambulances 6 and 18 responded to the scene and eventually transported both victims to area trauma centers. Their injuries were described as major.

The first victim was life-flighted just before 6 p.m., about one and one-half hours after the collision was reported and the second was transported about thirty minutes later just before 6:30 p.m.

Because the collision was possibly intentional and was believed to be related to the theft of the marijuana plants, Riverside County Sheriff’s officials were summoned to the scene to investigate the incident.

“The collision reportedly involved an off-road vehicle with two male adult riders and a pickup truck which fled the scene,” Clear explained. “Both riders of the off-road vehicle were seriously injured.”

Clear did not specify the type of off-road vehicle involved in the incident.

Based on the circumstances, investigators from the Hemet Station and Sheriff’s Central Homicide Unit responded to the scene and assumed the investigation.

During their investigation, sheriff’s officials interviewed several witnesses and collected evidence related to the incident.

“Witness statements and physical evidence suggested the incident was the result of marijuana plants that were stolen from a nearby property,” said Clear, who did not provide the location where the incident began.

No arrest have been made and the investigation is active and ongoing.

Anyone with information about this incident or who witnessed the initial theft, subsequent collision or any other portion of the incident is encouraged to immediately contact Investigator Medina at the Hemet Station at (951) 791-3400 or Central Homicide Unit Investigator Harvey at (951) 955-2777. Callers can refer to incident file number D173210055 and can remain anonymous. Citizens may also submit a tip using the Sheriff’s CrimeTips online form.


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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