Off-duty deputy apprehends hit and run suspect after Hemet 3-car wreck

HEMET — An off-duty sheriff’s deputy was instrumental in apprehending a hit and run suspect who fled after crashing into two cars in Hemet earlier tonight, Saturday, Nov. 3. One victim was hospitalized after the wrecks and the man who fled the scene is suspected of being under the influence and was later arrested.

The three-vehicle crash happened on E. Thornton Ave., just north of Echo Hills Golf Course, and the driver who tried fleeing from the scene was later apprehended on nearby S. Santa Fe St.

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City of Hemet Police and Fire Departments, along with other emergency personnel, were dispatched to the crash about 5:18 p.m., after receiving reports of a newer blue Hyundai that plowed into the back of a white Honda, The impact sent the Honda careening into a gold sedan and sent vehicle parts and debris across the entire roadway.

A man who fled from the scene of a hit and run collision in Hemet was detained by an off-duty sheriff deputy, who held the driver until police arrived. Timothy Franzese/Public Safety Incidents photo

The driver who caused the crash did not stop to render aid to the victims he struck or call 911 to report the collision. Although the crash destroyed the front of his vehicle, leaving the car barely running, the man raced away from the scene heading east toward Santa Fe.

As his heavily damaged car was spewing fluids behind it, the driver blew through the stop sign at Thornton and Santa Fe, while attempting to make a left turn at high-speed.

The driver failed to negotiate the turn and slid sideways into and over the raised curb, further disabling his wrecked Hyundai, which came to rest on the sidewalk near the intersection.

After crashing into the curb while trying to flee from the crash he caused, an off-duty sheriff’s deputy who witnessed the collisions and was chasing the hit and run driver detained the man, holding him until Hemet PD officers arrived and took over. The driver’s name has not yet been publicly released and no booking information could be found on him as of this report.

Firefighter/paramedics treated those injured in the hit and run and one person was eventually transported by ambulance to Hemet Valley Hospital for further treatment. The nature and extent of the victim’s injuries was not immediately known.

During their investigation officer determined the driver was possibly under the influence and arrested the man for the hit and run collision.

Hemet PD has not yet released any information regarding this crash or their investigation, which is ongoing.

Anyone who witnessed this collision or has information regarding the hit and run is encouraged to contact Hemet PD at (951) 765-2400. Callers can remain anonymous.

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Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 47, moved last year to the Intermountain area of 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 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 28 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 14 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.

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