MV man, 66, killed in Soboba Rd rollover ID’d – CHP releases additional details

UPDATE: Monday, May 14, 1 p.m.

(See original report, all photos and videos from scene below.)

SAN JACINTO — CHP and Coroner’s officials have released additional information about last night’s fatal rollover that partially ejected and killed a 66-year-old Moreno Valley resident. The solo-vehicle accident happened on Soboba Road near Chabella Road, almost 2 miles east of Gilman Springs Rd/State St., in an unincorporated area of San Jacinto.


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Jose Diaz, 66, of Moreno Valley was killed after his vehicle hit an embankment and soared about 75 feet off Soboba Rd in San Jacinto. Robert Carter/Public Safety Incidents photo

Riverside County Sheriff-Coroner’s officials later identified Jose Domingo Borja Diaz as the man who died when his Jeep Grand Cherokee lost control, hit an embankment at high-speed, and launched 75 feet before rolling “several times.” The SUV then smashed into a large tree and came to rest upside down on the vehicle’s roof.

When officials arrived at the scene, they found Diaz’ partially ejected and lifeless body. Despite life-saving efforts, Diaz succumbed to his injuries and medical personnel pronounced him deceased at 8:02 p.m.

During CHP’s subsequent accident investigation, officers interviewed multiple other motorists who witnessed the crash. Although no other vehicles were involved, two cars were damaged by flying debris, according to CHP Officer Darren Meyer. There were no other injuries reported related to the deadly crash.

According to CHP, early reports of multiple people trapped inside the Jeep turned out to be related to numerous witnesses and others who climbed down the embankment where the accident happened and were seen by other motorists trying to gain access to and save the victim while trying to pull the mortally injured man from his SUV.

CHP’s investigation determined Diaz was driving a white Jeep Grand Cherokee westbound on Soboba Road, west of Chabela Drive just before the deadly wreck.

At the same time, Charles Strothers, a 33-year-old from San Jacinto, was driving a gray Honda Accord eastbound on Soboba Road, west of Chabela Drive approaching the Jeep. 62-year-old San Jacinto resident, Sally Jasper, was driving a silver Toyota Yaris behind the Honda.

A coroner’s official climbs down a steep embankment to where Diaz’ SUV landed upside down after overturning “several times.” Robert Carter/Public Safety Incidents photo

“For reasons not yet known, the driver of the Jeep allowed his vehicle to travel off the paved roadway and onto the north dirt shoulder,” Meyer explained. “The driver of the Jeep lost control of his vehicle as it traveled in a southerly direction back across both lanes of Soboba Road and onto the south dirt shoulder.”

Witnesses at the scene estimated the Jeep was traveling at about 80 mph when Diaz lost control, but CHP is still working to determine how fast the man was actually going when his vehicle left the roadway.

When the Jeep hit the raised dirt embankment along the southern edge of Soboba Rd, the SUV was launched about 75 feet into the air.

“The Jeep traveled down a dirt embankment where it overturned several times,” said Meyer. As the SUV was rolling, it smashed into a large tree and came to rest upside down.

“The driver of the Jeep was partially ejected from the vehicle and sustained
fatal injuries,” Meyer explained.

The accident sent rocks, dirt, and debris flying into Strothers’ and Jasper’s vehicles, shattering both vehicles windshields, according to Meyer who also said neither of the other drivers was injured.

Alcohol and/or drug intoxication have not been ruled out as contributing factors in the fatal crash and CHP’s investigation is ongoing.

This is a developing story that will be updated as new information is available.



SAN JACINTO — Details are still emerging after a single-vehicle rollover that left one person dead along Soboba Road east of Gilman Springs Road/State Street in an unincorporated area just north of San Jacinto.

CHP and Sheriff’s officials, Cal Fire/Riverside County firefighters and paramedics, along with other emergency first responders, were dispatched to the scene of the fatal wreck about 7:40 p.m., after 911 callers reported a white Jeep Cherokee had left the roadway, smashed into a tree, and overturned.

Officials rushed to the scene of a fatal rollover that happened tonight on Soboba Rd. Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department photo

A CHP live incident log indicated there were “several occupants” trapped inside the overturned Jeep, which callers reported came to rest upside down in a ravine, about 75 feet from the road.

Nine firefighters from two engine companies and a paramedic squad responded to the scene, Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire spokesperson April Newman explained in an incident report.

“The first arriving engine company reported a single vehicle overturned on its roof,” said Newman who added, “One victim perished at the scene.”

The Jeep sustained major damage and its rear, passenger wheel had been sheered from the vehicle.

CHP’s incident log indicated officers summoned Riverside County Sheriff-Coroner’s officials to the scene just after 8 p.m.

As of this report, neither the CHP incident log or Cal Fire’s incident report indicated how many other victims were involved or the nature and full extent of the victim’s injuries.

During their investigation, CHP called for the temporary full closure of Soboba Road between Lake Park and State St./Gilman Springs Rd was.

Officials eventually reopened one lane of traffic, allowing alternating directions to slowly travel past the accident scene and Soboba Rd was fully re-opened just after 10:30 p.m.

CHP’s officials have not released any information regarding their accident investigation, which is active and ongoing.

This is a developing story that will be updated as new information is available.

Click any image to open full-size gallery.

Robert Carter/Public Safety Incidents video


Eye News Media video


Contact the writer:

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 several other news organizations, including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, The Valley Chronicle and Anza Valley Outlook, as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and The Mountain Echo in Shasta 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. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s 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 – soon to be 15 – grandchildren.

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