BREAKING: Second RivCo freeway jumper in 5 days forces I-215 closure, SigAlert
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this report listed the 91 Freeway in the title, when it should have said the incident happened on the southbound I-215
RIVERSIDE — Officials are at the scene of another incident involving a person who is believed to have leaped from an overpass onto a Riverside freeway earlier this morning, Thursday, March 14. As of this report there have been conflicting reports of the victim’s status and whether they survived the leap, which happened on the southbound Interstate 215 below the Van Buren Blvd. overpass, near March Air Reserve Base and the March Field Museum.
Today’s suspected suicide attempt was the second freeway jumper related incident in the last five days, after another man leaped to his death from the I-15 overpass onto the 91 Freeway below, last Saturday, March 9. That victim’s body was run over by several vehicles after the Fullerton man’s fatal leap.
LEADING THE RCNS HEADLINES:
California Highway Patrol and Riverside County Sheriff’s officials, along with Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire, AMR, and other emergency personnel, were first alerted to the incident around 9:49 a.m., when they received multiple reports of a body in the number two lane of traffic.
911 callers reported that the victim had possibly jumped from the Van Buren Blvd. bridge over the freeway, and that a vehicle had stopped behind the body and was blocking traffic from hitting the victim. Callers could not specify at the time if the victim had been struck by any cars after jumping from the overpass, or if the person survived the fall.
Within minutes, a CHP incident log indicated that all southbound lanes of the freeway were blocked and traffic was at a standstill. Officers and deputies soon began diverting traffic off the freeway at Van Buren Blvd. and CHP issued a SigAlert for the area.
By 10 a.m., officials at the scene had summoned CalTrans to assist with a hard closure of the southbound side of the freeway.
Officials have not yet specified if the victim succumbed to their injuries, but a person familiar with the incident said paramedics were still working to save the person’s life when they were rushed to an area hospital.
Commuters and area residents immediately began reporting significant delays in their travel times and CHP’s ongoing investigation and freeway closure have wreaked havoc for those trying to reach their morning destinations.
CHP’s investigation is active and ongoing at the scene and officials have not yet released any further details.
Contacted for information as to when the SigAlert might be lifted, CHP could not provide an estimate when the freeway would be reopened.
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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.