Drunk driver blows stop sign, plows into Hemet mail carrier

HEMET — One person was hospitalized and another was arrested after the driver of a mini van blew through a stop sign and plowed broadside into a U.S. Mail carrier van yesterday afternoon, Friday, March 29. The driver of the mini van was later determined to be intoxicated and was arrested at the scene.

Yesterday’s DUI-related collision, which caused the mail van to overturn onto its side, happened at the intersection of W. Latham and N. Hamilton avenues.

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City of Hemet Police and Fire Departments, along with AMR and other emergency personnel, were dispatched to the intersection around 4:30 p.m., after receiving reports of a two-vehicle collision involving a mail carrier vehicle. 911 callers reported the impact caused the mail van to overturn onto its side and that the mail carrier was possibly trapped inside the overturned vehicle.

When officials arrived, they found a wrecked and overturned mail van on its side near the middle of the intersection. The mail carrier was already out of the van and appeared uninjured. Officers found a green Toyota mini van that had struck the mail van about 100 yards away, stopped in the middle of Hamilton Ave.

A U.S. Mail carrier van was overturned when a drunk driver failed to stop at an intersection and plowed into it broadside, causing the small van to overturn. Krys Maiden/Hemet News photo

The Toyota had moderate front-end damage and the mail van sustained minor side damage and its rear bumper was ripped off.

Two occupants from the van, including a passenger who was injured in the collision, had remained at the scene and were cooperative with officers investigating the crash.

Paramedics evaluated and treated the injured passenger before transporting the victim to Hemet Valley Hospital for further treatment of their injuries, which one medic at the scene described as minor.

While a tow truck worked to right the overturned mail van onto its wheels so it could be towed from the scene, officers interviewed the driver of the Toyota that struck and flipped the mail van. While speaking with the driver, who has not been publicly identified, officers observed the man appeared to be intoxicated.

Officers performed a field sobriety test on the driver of the Toyota, which he failed, and determined the man was under the influence of alcohol. He was subsequently arrested at the scene and transported to Hemet Jail.

 Both vehicles were later towed from the scene and Hemet PD’s investigation is ongoing.

Click any image to open full-size gallery.

Gary Rainwater/RCNS photos

Schmel Maiden/Hemet News photos

Gary Rainwater/RCNS video
Schmel Maiden/Hemet News 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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