UPDATE: More details after fiery Beaumont DUI crash injures 6

UPDATED: Wednesday, May 15, 2:30 p.m., With additional details from Beaumont PD

BEAUMONT — Officials have released additional information about last Saturday afternoon’s major injury, DUI traffic collision in Beaumont, that happened at the intersection of Beaumont Ave. and 6th St. Four adults and two juveniles were hospitalized, including two who were critically injured and three who suffered major injuries, after the fiery, head-on crash May 11.

The alleged drunk driver, Thomas Ysiano, 39, of Indio, managed to escape his burning car and reportedly tried to flee the scene on foot but was detained by witnesses. According to Beaumont PD officials, he remains hospitalized and now faces felony charges related to the major-injury crash.

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Beaumont police officers and Cal Fire/Riverside County firefighters, along with AMR and other emergency personnel, were dispatched to the crash around 2:49 p.m., after receiving reports of a sedan that plowed head-on with a full-size passenger van. 911 callers reported the impact caused the van to flip onto its side and that the sedan burst into flames after the crash.

When officials arrived they found a red van on its side, on the sidewalk at the intersection. A white, four-door Lincoln was fully engulfed in flames nearby, and vehicle parts and debris were spread throughout the intersection.

A crowd of witnesses and curious onlookers were surrounding the scene of the crash, and good Samaritans were attempting to provide aid and comfort to the numerous victims injured in the collision. Ysiano was also found nearby, being detained by witnesses who later reportedly told officers the man tried to flee the scene after managing to exit his wrecked vehicle as it caught fire and burst into flames.

A family of five was seriously injured after an allegedly drunk driver plowed into their passenger van last Saturday. The DUI driver was also seriously injured in the crash. BPD photo

Five occupants from the van were transported to area hospitals, two with injuries described as critical along with three with major injuries. The family of five was reportedly heading home after their son’s baseball team had an end of season party.

Ysiano was also transported to an area hospital with unspecified, but serious injuries.

“Ysiano is currently hospitalized recovering from injuries sustained in the collision, but out of custody charges for felony driving under the influence have been filed with the Riverside County District Attorney’s office,” Beaumont PD officials said in a news release today.

Officers who investigated the collision interviewed numerous witnesses and determined that just before the collision, Ysiano was traveling westbound “at a high rate of speed” when he failed to stop for a red light and plowed into the passenger van, causing it to overturn.

Area resident Shannon Smith, who witnessed the crash and posted a photograph and description of the collision on social media, later expressed outrage after learning Ysiano was suspected of being under the influence when he caused the collision.

“How dare you! How dare you!” Smith angrily fumed on her social media post.

“I will see you in court,” Smith continued, saying she witnessed every second of what she described as a “horrible crash.”

“I will make sure you get what you deserve!”

Others who witnessed the crash or heard about it afterward also vented their anger that the accident was caused by an allegedly intoxicated driver. Many posted their own photographs of the collision, as well as their first-hand accounts of what they had seen.

“This is outrageous,” Bill Bassinger later told RCNS. “No matter how many people continue to die, drunk and high drivers still think they can get out there on our roads and endanger everyone else’s lives.”

“They don’t give a damn about anybody but themselves,” Bassinger continued. “There needs to be stiffer penalties for DUI drivers. It’s as simple as that.”

While officials worked at the scene they called for the temporary closure of the intersection and all area traffic was diverted away from the scene. The intersection was reopened around 6 p.m., according to Beaumont PD officials.

Riverside County Superior Court records indicate Ysiano has minor traffic violation convictions in 2017 for using a cell phone and having an unrestrained child while driving, but no other criminal history within the county.

“As horrific as this accident was, we were very fortunate there were no fatalities, and all of the subjects survived,” police said. “As such, the Beaumont Police Department would like to extend our well wishes and prayers to the family members involved in this collision as they continue to recover from their injuries.”

Beaumont PD’s investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with additional information regarding this investigation or who witnessed the crash and has not yet provided a statement is encouraged to contact Beaumont PD’s on-duty watch commander at (951) 769-8500. Callers can remain anonymous.

Click any image to open full-size gallery.


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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