HEMET: 4 injured, 1 arrested, after multiple DUI hit and run collisions

HEMET — Last Friday the 13th turned out very unlucky for several victims injured in a four vehicle chain of several accidents that happened when an allegedly intoxicated man tried to flee the scene the scene of a first accident he caused. The accidents happened at the intersection of S. Sanderson and W. Acacia Avenues in Hemet.

A Mercedes was destroyed when an allegedly intoxicated hit and run driver plowed into it while fleeing the scene of two other accidents. Timothy Franzese/Public Safety Incidents photo

The driver who reportedly caused the accidents that sent four people to the hospital was detained at the scene and later arrested after plowing into the back of a car which in turn caused a second accident. While trying to flee the first two crashes, the suspect then smashed into another vehicle – sending that car careening through the intersection into a pole.

City of Hemet Police and Fire Departments along with other emergency first responders were dispatched to the scene shortly before 10 p.m., after receiving multiple reports of multiple collisions involving a lifted, red pickup truck. According to several witnesses the driver caused four separate accidents while trying to flee the first accident.

When officials arrived they found four wrecked vehicles scattered both on and off the roadway. The vehicles were described as a dark-colored Mercedes-Benz with major front-end damage, white Honda Civic sedan with major rear-end damage, a Toyota Prius, and a red Chevy pickup truck.

The Mercedes was found against a pole on the southwest corner of the intersection and the Chevy truck was hung up on the guide wires of a telephone pole about 40 feet away.

While firefighter/paramedics treated those injured in the crashes, officers investigated the cause of the collisions. AMR medics eventually transported four victims to area hospitals for further evaluation and treatment. The nature and extent of the victim’s injuries was not known.

Although uninjured in the multiple collisions, while officers interviewed the suspected hit and run driver, the man appeared intoxicated and unsteady. At one point while trying to sit down on a curb, the man somehow managed to fall forward – landing flat on his face on the asphalt. The man then had to be picked up and steadied by officials.

The driver was arrested for suspected DUI and other charges. Timothy Franzese/Public Safety Incidents photo

Witnesses at the scene told officials an older white male driving the pickup truck plowed into the back-end of the Honda. The impact propelled the Honda into the Toyota.

After causing the first two accidents, the alleged drunk driver – who has not yet been identified – tried to flee the scene heading west on Acacia Avenue. While crossing the intersection the truck then plowed into the Mercedes, sending the heavily damaged sedan into a metal cross walk traffic control pole.

The driver then attempted to flee the scene of that crash, first racing up and over a sidewalk before spinning its wheels out of control in the dirt along the south side of Acacia Avenue. The truck’s front-end then got hung up on the steel braided wires helping to hold up a telephone pole.

During their accident investigation, officers conducted a series of field sobriety tests, each of which the suspect failed. The man submitted to a breathalyzer test, which reportedly confirmed officer’s suspicions that the hit and run driver was intoxicated.

Based on their investigation and observations, officers arrested the suspect. While an officer was handcuffing the man, he suddenly began to fall forward, causing two nearby officers to have to catch his fall to protect him from injuring himself. Officers later transported him to Hemet Jail.

Officials have not yet released any details regarding the accident investigation, which is active and ongoing.

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Timothy Franzese/Public Safety Incidents video


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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