Hemet officer hospitalized after on-duty crash

HEMET — A Hemet police officer was hospitalized early yesterday evening when her patrol vehicle was struck broadside by another car Tuesday, Mar. 5. The injury traffic collision happened at the intersection of Juanita St. and Central Ave. in Hemet. The officer’s injuries were later described as minor and she is expected to fully recover.

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“An on-duty Hemet Police officer was en route to a call when the officer’s police car and a green Honda Del Sol collided” within the intersection, according to Hemet Police Lt. Nate Miller, who said the crash happened about 5:35 p.m.

It was not immediately known if the officer reported the crash via her radio or if a witness called 911 to report the collision, but emergency personnel began arriving at the scene within moments of the wreck.

Paramedics and other rescue personnel speak with a Hemet PD officer as she sits dazed and semi-conscious in her damaged patrol vehicle. Gary Rainwater photo

A City of Hemet PD volunteer was the first responder to arrive at the scene and quickly acted to block off the intersection and keep witnesses and curious onlookers away from the dazed and semi-conscious officer as she sat injured inside her patrol vehicle.

Two women who were believed to have been inside the car the struck the patrol vehicle were filmed at the scene crying and consoling each other while trying to regain their composure after they realized they had struck and injured an officer.

Within minutes, other officers began converging on the scene with their lights flashing and sirens wailing. They were followed moments later by City of Hemet Fire and rescue personnel and an AMR ambulance crew.

The officer, who Miller said was alert and speaking with investigators and medical staff, was transported to a local hospital via ambulance with unspecified injuries.

The occupants of the Honda that hit the officer’s vehicle were treated at the scene by medical personnel, but were reportedly uninjured and did not require further treatment. Both the Honda’s occupants were cooperative with officials and also spoke with investigators at the scene.

The intersection where the accident occurred has a stop sign in the direction the patrol vehicle had been traveling, while the Honda was not required to stop and had the right of way. However, it was not immediately known if the officer was responding to a priority call with lights and sirens activated or if she was responding to a routine call.

Hemet PD’s traffic collision investigation is active and ongoing and no further updates regarding the officers condition or the full nature and extent of her injuries has been provided.

Anyone with information regarding this incident or who witnessed the crash and has not yet spoken to an investigator is encouraged to contact Traffic Sergeant Dan Reinbolt at (951) 765-2400. Callers can remain anonymous.

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

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Gary Rainwater photos

Robert Carter/Public Safety Incidents photos

Robert Carter/Public Safety Incidents video

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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