Riverside man, 33, fatally ejected in fiery wreck with big-rig

UPDATED: May 7, 9 a.m., With coroner’s release of information

RIVERSIDE — Officials have identified a man who died after a fiery, two-vehicle accident involving a pickup truck and a semi-truck on Mission Inn Ave., between Indian Hill Rd and Arfon Way, late Wednesday evening, May 1. The crash, which caused the pickup to overturn and burst into flames, ejected the driver and sole-occupant of the pickup – who later died at the scene of the collision.


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Riverside County Sheriff-Coroner officials have since identified Jonathan Garcia, 33, of Riverside, as the victim of last Wednesday night’s crash. A coroner’s release indicated Garcia passed away within minutes of the accident and was pronounced deceased at 12:05 a.m.

City of Riverside Police and Fire Departments, along with AMR and other emergency personnel, were dispatched to the area around 11:45 p.m., after receiving reports of a major-injury traffic collision. 911 callers reported the driver of a pickup truck had been ejected and the victim’s vehicle had burst into flames.

A 33-year-old Riverside man was killed after he was ejected from his truck after crashing into a big-rig. The impact caused the victim’s pickup to overturn and burst into flames. InlandNews photo

When officials arrived they found an overturned pickup truck on its roof and fully engulfed in flames. The involved semi was stopped nearby and the driver of the big rig was uninjured in the crash. He remained at the scene and was cooperating with Riverside PD’s investigation.

While firefighters worked to quickly extinguish the vehicle blaze, paramedics performed CPR and other life-saving efforts to the ejected victim, whose body was thrown from his pickup and landed about 50 feet from his overturned vehicle.

Despite their efforts, the victim succumbed to his injuries and paramedics pronounced him deceased at the scene.

Based on the circumstances, members of Riverside PD’s Major Accident Investigation Team responded to the scene and assumed the investigation.

“The preliminary investigation revealed a 2000 Chevrolet pick-up was traveling eastbound on (Mission Inn) Ave. at a high rate of speed and collided into the rear of a 2011 Freightliner also traveling east bound on Buena Vista Ave,” RPD later reported on social media. “The driver of the Chevrolet pick-up was ejected and pronounced deceased at the scene.”

Riverside PD officers interview the driver of a big-rig after last Wednesday’s fatal, rollover traffic collision. InlandNews photo

During their investigation, officials called for the temporary closure of Mission Inn Ave. as well as “the bridge coming to and from Riverside,” officials reported at the time. The area was re-opened to regular traffic about 10 hours later, around 10 a.m. later that morning

Riverside PD’s investigation is ongoing and officials have not released any further information or details.

Anyone with information regarding this collision or who witnessed the crash and has not yet provided a statement is encouraged to contact Riverside Police Traffic Detective Soria at (951) 826-8720. Callers can refer to incident file number 190012991 and can remain anonymous.

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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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