Hemet man, 28, ejected and crushed by vehicle, ID’d – intoxication ruled out for SJ driver

(Writer/Editor’s note: Although RCNS obtained both photos and video of this fatal accident, for the sake of the family, none were included due to their graphic nature.)


HEMET — Officials have identified a 28-year-old Hemet resident who died after he was ejected from a vehicle last Wednesday evening, May 9. After being ejected the victim was crushed by the overturning sedan he had been a passenger in. The deadly, single-vehicle crash happened on Highway 74, about one and a half miles east of Bee Canyon Truck Trail in an unincorporated area between the cities of Hemet and Idyllwild.

Riverside County Sheriff-Coroner’s officials later identified James Honeycutt as the man killed in the wreck. According to a coroner’s release, Honeycutt was pronounced deceased at the scene of the accident at 6:58 p.m., about 15 minutes after the crash was reported.

Emergency first responders were dispatched to the accident about 6:40 p.m., after receiving reports of an overturned vehicle with a victim trapped underneath it.

When officials arrived they found Honeycutt underneath the overturned Mercedes. He had sustained major injuries and was in traumatic full arrest according to medical personnel at the scene. Despite life-saving efforts, the victim succumbed to his injuries at the scene.

Because the wrecked sedan and emergency vehicles were blocking the two lane mountain highway, officers called for the temporary, full closure of the road. Several hours later, while the initial on-scene investigation was continuing, officers opened one lane and vehicles were allowed to travel past the scene, one direction at a time.

During their investigation officers determined Sabrina Garcia, a 25-year-old San Jacinto resident, was driving a black, 2002 Mercedes westbound toward Hemet on SR-74 , east of Bee Canyon Truck Trail.

Honeycutt was a passenger in the front seat of the sedan, according to CHP Officer Darren Meyer, who wrote, “The driver was wearing her seat belt; the passenger was not.”

For an unknown reason, Garcia allowed the Mercedes to drift onto the north, dirt shoulder of the twisting mountain roadway, where the vehicle collided with the dirt embankment, according to Meyer. The sedan then overturned back on to the roadway.

“The unrestrained passenger was ejected as the vehicle overturned,” at which time the victim was crushed by the car as it rolled on top of him, said Meyer. “He was declared deceased on scene.”

Garcia sustained minor injures and after being evaluated by paramedics she declined further treatment at the scene.

CHP’s investigation into the deadly crash is ongoing, but Meyer confirmed that drug and alcohol intoxication have been ruled out as possible contributing factors in the deadly wreck.


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 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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