BANNING: Seriously injured motorist airlifted after solo-vehicle rollover accident

BANNING — One person was air-lifted and hospitalized with major injuries after a single vehicle rollover accident yesterday afternoon, according to CHP and Cal Fire officials. The accident happened on Highway 243, just north of Mt. Edna Road, in an unincorporated area about six miles south of I-10 and Banning and about 19 miles north of Idyllwild.

Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire photo

California Highway Patrol, Riverside Sheriff’s Department, Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire and other emergency first responders were dispatched to the area just after 2:40 p.m., after receiving reports of a major injury traffic accident with a victim trapped inside an overturned SUV.

According to 911 callers at least four other motorists had stopped to aid and comfort the victim trapped inside the overturned vehicle.

Seven firefighters from two engine companies responded to the crash, Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire spokesperson April Newman explained in an incident report. They were assisted by U.S. Forest Service – San Bernardino personnel.

When officials arrived they found an SUV, described as a black Toyota RAV-4, overturned and resting on its driver’s side. Vehicle parts, debris and personal items – including what appeared to be groceries – had spilled out of the wrecked and overturned SUV and were scattered across the mountain highway.

“The first arriving engine company reported one vehicle on its side with moderate damage,” Newman wrote. One victim who sustained “serious injuries” was still trapped inside the wrecked and overturned SUV.

Based on the severity of the victim’s injuries, medical personnel at the scene requested a Mercy Air Ambulance to the scene to airlift the victim to a hospital.

While firefighter-paramedics were working to free and treat the trapped and injured victim, CHP investigated the cause of the crash.

Based on all the activity and fire apparatus blocking the highway, CHP eventually called for the full closure of the mountain road, according to a CHP live incident log, and requested assistance from Banning PD with the closure.

CHP eventually decided to leave one lane open and cancelled the roadblock. One direction of traffic was then allowed to pass the accident scene a few vehicles at a time.

Nearly two hours later, at 4:17 p.m., Newman updated a Mercy Air Ambulance had picked up and airlifted the victim to an area hospital for further treatment. Her condition was listed as serious, but there have been no further updates regarding the nature and extent of the victim’s injuries.

CHP is investigating the crash and their investigation is ongoing.

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


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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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