“What if this was her child?” angry mother asks after Hemet hit and run

HEMET — Authorities are searching for a woman they say fled the scene after hitting a middle school student as he was walking to school earlier this morning, Wednesday, Feb. 6. Although the teen was hospitalized with moderate injuries he has since been sent home where he is recovering, the victim’s mother later told RCNS.

Police are now asking for the public’s help locating and identifying the alleged suspect who kept driving after hitting the student just outside Acacia Middle School, at the intersection of San Jacinto St. and Acacia Ave. in Hemet.

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City of Hemet Police and Fire Departments, along with other emergency personnel, were dispatched to the school about 9 a.m., after receiving reports of a hit and run involving a juvenile, Hemet Police Sgt. Dan Reinbolt said as HPD’s investigation was getting underway.

Based on the circumstances, members of Hemet PD’s Traffic Division responded to the scene and assumed the investigation.

“Investigators learned that an Acacia Middle School student was struck by a vehicle and injured while walking to school,” explained Reinbolt. “The driver of the vehicle that struck the student fled the scene.”

According to witnesses, the woman who hit the child, described by Reinbolt as a “middle aged white female adult,” did not stop or slow down and made no effort to render aid to the injured juvenile and immediately fled the scene.

The alleged suspect’s vehicle was described as a light colored sedan, that was last seen turning west on Acacia Ave. from San Jacinto St. “The vehicle may or may not have damage to the front end and/or hood,” said Reinbolt.

After being left injured and bleeding in the roadway, the teenage victim managed to make it to his school, where administrators and school health officials called 911 to report the hit and run.

Although officials declined to release the victim’s name or age the boy’s mother, Maria Ortiz, later told RCNS her son, Ely Soto, 13, was the victim who was left laying in the roadway after the hit and run.

Ortiz provided RCNS with a photo that showed her son in obvious pain, being loaded into an ambulance before AMR transported him to Hemet Valley Hospital for treatment. In the photo, Ely is seen wearing a neck brace and his left eye and face appeared swollen and bruised in several spots.

The victim of today’s hit and run is pictured being loaded onto an ambulance after the alleged suspect fled the scene. Maria Ortiz photo

“You don’t have to block his face,” the angry mother told RCNS. “I want the lady that did this to my son to see exactly what she did. She hit him and just left him there in the street, bleeding and injured.”

“I want her to step up and say that it was her, and to put herself in my shoes, especially if she has kids,” Ortiz continued.

“What if this happened to one of her own children,” Ortiz asked. “Wouldn’t she want that person to speak up and turn him or herself in?”

Anyone who witnessed the collision or has information about the identity or whereabouts of the alleged suspect or her vehicle is encouraged to immediately contact Hemet PD’s Traffic Division at (951) 765-2400. Callers can remain anonymous.


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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