UPDATE: Drunk teen arrested after plowing into two women, killing one

UPDATED: Monday, Dec. 17, 1:20 p.m., With additional information and details from RSO.

PERRIS — Additional details have been released after a Homeland teen struck two pedestrians, early Sunday morning, Dec. 16. One of the two pedestrians died as a result of the collision, and was the second pedestrian killed by a motorist in the Menifee and Perris area in less than eight hours.

A woman was arrested after the deadly collision, which happened on Encanto Dr., between Ethanac Rd. and McCall Blvd. The first fatal vehicle versus pedestrian accident, which killed a 46-year-old Menifee woman, happened on Highway 74 near 3rd. St.


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After an investigation, deputies arrested Kathy Vargas, 19, of Homeland. She was later booked into Cois Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter and DUI over .08% BAC. Jail records indicate she was released within hours of her arrest after posting $75,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned at Riverside’s Hall of Justice, Feb. 13.

Kathy Vargas, 19, was arrested after a fatal DUI-related vehicle versus pedestrian collision. RSO booking photo

Deputies assigned to Perris Sheriff’s Station and other emergency personnel were dispatched to the accident about 1:15 a.m., after receiving reports of the deadly collision.

When officials arrived at the scene they located an adult female with major traumatic injuries down in the roadway. Another injured woman was nearby.

A car, described as a dark-colored sedan, was stopped in the opposite lane of traffic, blocking both directions of travel. The driver of the car, later identified as Vargas, had remained at the scene and was cooperative with the crash investigation.

The two pedestrians’ personal items, including a pair of woman’s shoes – which one of the victims was knocked out of by the impact – were found scattered across the roadway.

“One pedestrian sustained major injuries and died at the hospital,” Riverside Sheriff’s Sgt. Marshall explained after the deadly crash. The pedestrian was identified only as a 26-year-old Perris woman. “The other pedestrian complained of neck pain but declined medical treatment,” said Marshall.

Officials have said the deceased victim’s name would not be released pending further investigation and notification of the woman’s family.

Based on the circumstances, members of the station’s Traffic Team responded and assumed the investigation. Traffic Team members interviewed Vargas at the scene and determined that despite being under the legal drinking age, she was under the influence of alcohol. Based on their investigation, deputies arrested Vargas and she was later booked into jail.

During their investigation, Traffic Team members determined Vargas was traveling northbound on Encanto Drive, when she drove across the southbound lane of traffic, and collided into the two pedestrians who had been walking northbound along the shoulder of the roadway, according to Marshall.

SEE RELATED: UPDATE: Fatally struck crossing Hwy 74, Menifee woman, 46, ID’d

While deputies conducted their investigation they called for the temporary closure of both directions of travel on Encanto Dr., between Ethanac Rd. and McCall Blvd. The roadway was re-opened several hours later.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is encouraged to contact Deputy Kiebach at (951) 210-1073. Callers can refer to incident file number PE183500010 and can remain anonymous.

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

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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 15 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.


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