HEMET: DUI suspected, jaywalker critical, after vehicle vs pedestrian accident

HEMET — Just days after the “successful” roll out of Hemet PD’s new Pedestrian Safety Campaign, aimed at curbing vehicle versus pedestrian accidents and educating both the walking and driving public about pedestrian related traffic laws, officials are once again investigating a collision between a vehicle and jaywalking pedestrian who reportedly “ran straight out into traffic” before being struck earlier this evening.

Various reports have indicated the victim was either critically or fatally injured and officials have not yet released any information regarding their ongoing investigation.

Despite members of Hemet PD’s four officer Traffic Team issuing 21 citations to pedestrians observed “jaywalking” on Wednesday, Apr. 11, officers find themselves once again investigating a needless and preventable – possibly fatal – accident.

SEE ALSO: HEMET: 21 “jaywalkers” cited in pedestrian safety crack-down

SEE ALSO: HEMET: One hospitalized after 4-vehicle, chain-reaction, head-on pileup

SEE ALSO: Top 25 stories that helped propel RCNS beyond 6 million views in first 30 months

City of Hemet Police and Fire Departments along with AMR medics responded to State Street north of Fruitvale Avenue about 10 p.m., after receiving reports of the major injury collision. Callers reported the victim was down in the roadway and that she was unconscious and not breathing.

A woman’s personal belongings and collected recyclables lay scattered across State Street after the woman was hit by an SUV after attempting to dart across the busy road. Timothy Franzese/Public Safety Incidents photo

AMR medics were first to arrive on scene and immediately reported they had begun CPR and providing other life-saving measures.

A witness at the scene later reported seeing a person they described as “homeless,” who “suddenly and unexpectedly” darted across State Street, directly into the path of an oncoming SUV.

The driver of the newer, silver SUV – which was still sporting paper dealership plates – stopped immediately after the accident and remained at the scene. The driver was later seen being transported to Hemet PD, but it was not yet known if the person was arrested or charged.

One witness, an area resident who wanted to be identified only as “Jim,” later explained the pedestrian had been wearing all dark clothing and carrying bags of what he said later appeared to be a mixture of personal belongings and collected recyclables. The items remained scattered across the roadway until later collected and disposed of. Officials did reportedly manage to collect and save a few personal affects amid the debris scattered across the roadway.

The victim, who has not yet been identified, was transported to an area hospital in critical condition. According to Hemet Valley Incidents, radio traffic indicated the woman succumbed to her injuries and she was pronounced deceased; however, RCNS has not yet been able to independently verify the victim’s medical status.

A short time later, officials requested a blood nurse respond to Hemet PD to draw blood for toxicology tests on the driver who unwittingly struck the victim.

During their investigation, officials called for the temporary closure of State Street in both directions and traffic was diverted away from the accident scene.

“There was no way anyone ever could have seen her,” Jim later explained in an online interview. “Hell, even I didn’t see the woman ’till she was flying through the air.”

When he later saw the driver being detained, suspected of possibly being under the influence, he explained while he would never “condone” driving while intoxicated, he said, “I still just can’t imagine what (the pedestrian) was thinking when she ran straight into traffic or how she couldn’t have seen she was about to run right in front of that car.”

“I just don’t understand why these (people) constantly think they can outrun a 2,000 pound, blunt-force instrument of death,” Jim lamented. “This is just (continuing to) happen far (too) often around here.”

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Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 46, recently moved to Shasta County from Riverside County and 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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