Driver flees after plowing into van & teens walking home from school

RIVERSIDE — Officials are asking for the public’s help identifying a man who was caught on camera after fleeing the scene of an accident Wednesday afternoon, May 15. The surveillance footage clearly showed the alleged suspect’s face as he fled on foot with a small white dog.

Last Wednesday’s hit and run crash, which happened in the area of Blaine St. and the 60/215 freeway off ramp, near Riverside’s Eastside neighborhood, involved a second vehicle and a group of teens walking home from school.

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City of Riverside Police and Fire Departments, along with other emergency personnel, were dispatched to the scene at around 3:45 p.m., after receiving reports of a hit and run traffic collision. 911 callers reported the accident involved two vehicles and numerous teens who had been walking on the sidewalk when the crash occurred.

Officials who investigated the collision learned that after the crash the alleged suspect, who has not yet been identified or located, grabbed a small white dog and some belongings from the wrecked car and fled the scene on foot.

Video surveillance footage captured the moment before a black sedan careened off the 60/215 freeways at Blaine St. and plowed into a van. The impact sent the van flying over a curb, where it appeared to strike one or more teens. Riverside PD image

Despite being followed and filmed by several bystanders, including some of the teens who were struck or nearly struck by the van hit by the suspect’s vehicle, the driver managed to get away unidentified after he jumped over a fence into a nearby apartment complex.

While investigating the hit and run collision, officers determined the suspect “exited the freeway at Blaine at a high rate of speed, crossing all lanes, where it collided with a van on the opposite corner,” Riverside PD said in a social media release asking for information about the man who fled the scene. The impact knocked the van onto the sidewalk where several teens were walking – sending the teens scattering in all directions.

“It is thought the van may have struck at least one of the teens, but the teens left before police arrived,” RPD explained.

Video surveillance of the hit and run that was later obtained by officers showed a dark-colored sedan careening across Blaine St. before plowing broadside into a full-size white van. The impact sent the van flying onto a sidewalk, where it appeared to possibly strike and knock down several teens who had been walking on the sidewalk.

In the surveillance video, the alleged suspect can then be seen fleeing the area with a puppy and some personal belongings, despite being followed and filmed by several bystanders who witnessed the collision. Several of the teens involved in the incident were also seen following and filming the man, before he jumped the fence and disappeared into an apartment complex.

A man who officials say struck a van that then possibly hit one or more teens walking home from school was captured on video surveillance after he grabbed a puppy and some personal belongings from a wrecked sedan and fled the scene on foot. Riverside PD image

The suspected hit and run driver has been described as a Black male in his 20’s, “with a short afro-style haircut.” He was last seen wearing a blue shirt, blue pants, and black shoes. The surveillance footage showed the fleeing suspect either sustained a minor injury to his forehead, or has a birthmark or some other mark on his head.

During their investigation, officers learned the vehicle the man had been driving belonged to a third party, “who had not given permission to him to drive,” according to RPD.

Anyone with information, video, or photographs of this incident, or who knows the identity and/or whereabouts of this driver is encouraged to contact Riverside Police Detective Brian Jones at (951) 826-8722 or by email. Those wishing to remain anonymous can email rpdtips@riversideca.gov or utilize the Riverside Police Department’s mobile app “Submit a Tip” feature. Tipsters can refer to incident file number 190014271.

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Riverside PD 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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