5 injured, 6 homes evac’d, after Homeland crash severs gas line

HOMELAND — Five people were seriously injured and twenty-one residents from six homes were evacuated after a car careened out of control, rolled several times, and severed a main gas line in Homeland Saturday evening, Dec. 29.

The solo-vehicle accident happened along a sweeping “S” curve in the 32500 block of Highway 74, near Panorama Cove mobile home park.

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CHP, Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department, and other emergency personnel, were dispatched to the scene of the crash at 10:17 p.m., after receiving reports of a single-vehicle rollover into a natural gas line, Cal Fire spokesperson Rob Roseen later explained in an incident report .

When officials arrived they found a wrecked and overturned vehicle, described as a purple Toyota coupe, that had crashed into and severed a main gas line.

Officials work at the scene of last Saturday’s crash that injured 5 and forced the evacuation of 21 nearby residents. John Strangis/ENMedia photo

Natural gas was spewing from the severed line, causing officials to call for the immediate evacuation of six nearby homes. A total of twenty-one residents, including at least one resident who was wheeled to safety in a wheelchair, were temporarily displaced.

Firefighters found five occupants from the overturned Toyota, all of whom sustained major injuries, according to Roseen. AMR transported all five victims by ground ambulances to area hospitals with injuries Roseen described as “major.” As of this report the condition of the victims had not been updated.

Based on the circumstances, Riverside County’s Hazardous Materials Team, Emergency Management Department, and Environmental Health Department, along with Southern California Gas Company all responded to the scene to handle the severed gas line.

Officials mitigated the gas leak around midnight, at which time Roseen updated that law enforcement officers had begun allowing the displaced residents to return to their homes. It was not immediately known what, if any, arrangements had been made to assist the residents displaced by the accident.

CHP is investigating the cause of the crash and are still working to determine if alcohol or drug intoxication were contributing factors in the accident. Their investigation is ongoing.

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John Strangis/ENMedia photos


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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