MOUNTAIN GATE: DUI suspected in hit and run rollover traffic collision
MOUNTAIN GATE — Officials are investigating a possible DUI-related, hit and run traffic accident that happened Tuesday evening, Nov. 21. The single-vehicle, rollover accident happened on the 17000 block of Wonderland Boulevard, between Bass Drive and Tunnel Road, in the unincorporated community of Mountain Gate just north of the City of Shasta Lake.
California Highway Patrol officers, Cal Fire/Shasta County Fire personnel and other emergency first responders were dispatched to the scene of the crash about 7:45 p.m., after other motorists and witnesses called 911 and reported the accident to SHASCOM emergency dispatchers.
Firefighters were the first to arrive at the scene of the crash and reported finding a Ford Expedition that had rolled over multiple times before ending up about five feet down a shallow drainage ditch.
According to a CHP incident log, the Ford SUV, which came to rest about six feet from the east side of the roadway, sustained “major, crush damage,” and one of its wheels was sheared off in the crash.
Fire officials searched the SUV for victims, at which time they found the vehicle abandoned.
According to witnesses at the scene, the sole occupant from the vehicle, described as a male, had walked away from the accident after mentioning “something about a fourth DUI,” according to the CHP log.
The man, who has not yet been named publicly, was last seen walking northbound of Wonderland Boulevard before possibly getting into another vehicle and heading west on Tunnel Road.
While officers investigated the hit and run they spoke with an area resident who advised them the driver of the SUV was believed to reside at the Spring Branch Trailer Park on the 19000 block of Tunnel Road, about three-tenths of one mile from where the accident happened.
When CHP arrived at the scene they conducted a records check and determined the Ford had been towed incident to the driver’s arrest on Nov. 6. The vehicle’s registration information confirmed the registered owner resided at the Spring Branch Trailer Park.
Based on the information they obtained, officers responded to a mobile home at the trailer park where they learned the driver of the Ford had gone after the accident. The man, who has not been officially identified yet, reportedly told others at his residence he had been involved in a vehicle accident before walking away from the mobile home.
Officials requested assistance from a Redding PD K-9 and the Shasta County Sheriff’s Aviation Unit in locating the driver who had fled the scene of the wreck.
According to the CHP log, at 8:30 p.m. – about forty-five minutes after the wreck was reported – the driver of the Ford called CHP and told dispatchers he was not hiding and he agreed to walk back out to Bass Drive to meet with officers.
As of this report, CHP had not provided any information regarding the collision or the driver’s status.
After the destroyed Ford was removed via a flatbed tow truck, PG&E officials were summoned to the scene to assess one of their utility poles possibly damaged when the SUV hit one of four guy wires helping to hold up and balance the pole.
This is a developing story that will be updated as additional information becomes available.
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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.