Speeding & DUI “possible factors” in fatal Menifee crash

MENIFEE — Details are beginning to emerge after a three vehicle crash in Menifee that left a local man dead Saturday morning, May 25. According to sheriff’s officials investigating the deadly crash, DUI and excessive speed are suspected as possible contributing factors in the collision, which happened at the intersection of Newport and Menifee roads.

Riverside County Sheriff-Coroner officials have since identified Frank Dominguez, 63, of Menifee, as the victim killed in the collision. A coroner’s release indicated Dominguez succumbed to his injuries within minutes of the crash and he was pronounced deceased at 7:56 a.m.

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Emergency personnel were first alerted to the collision just before 7:50 a.m., after receiving multiple reports of a major injury traffic collision, Riverside Sheriff’s Sgt. John Burke later reported.

When officials arrived they found three involved vehicles, described as a red BMW convertible, burgundy Honda Crosstour, and dark-colored Dodge Charger. Both the BMW and Honda were found in a landscaped area near the intersection and the Honda was upside down and on its roof. The dodge was found nearby and vehicle parts, debris and parts of a destroyed traffic signal and pole were strewn throughout the intersection and amidst the wrecked vehicles, leaving several lanes blocked and impassable.

Recently retired 63-year-old, Menifee resident Frank Dominguez was killed in a suspected DUI collision yesterday morning. Nathan Wilking/RVC News photo

Firefighters and paramedics immediately began evaluating the three occupants from the vehicles, at which time they determined the driver of the BMW, later identified as Dominguez, had already succumbed to his injuries and passed away. Paramedics pronounced him deceased at the scene.

The driver of the Honda was eventually transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and the driver of the Dodge was released at the scene with no injuries, according to Burke.

While firefighters treated the surviving victims of the crash, deputies assigned to Menifee Police Department’s Traffic Team investigated the cause of the deadly collision.

“Witness statements coupled with evidence at the scene and a review surveillance video from surrounding businesses revealed the Honda Crosstour was driving westbound Newport Rd. at a high rate of speed and struck the Dodge Charger,” Burke later explained. 

“The impact with the Dodge Charger caused the driver of the Honda Crosstour to lose control of his vehicle,” Burke continued. “The Honda Crosstour traveled through the intersection of Newport Rd. and Menifee Rd. and collided with a BMW as it waited to make a westbound turn onto Newport Rd. from Menifee Rd.”

Although Menifee PD’s collision investigation is ongoing, “driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs is currently being investigated as a possible factor in this collision,” Burke reported.   

While officials worked at the scene they called for the temporary closure of the intersection. The closure caused major congestion and delays as area motorists were diverted away from the scene of the crash onto other area roads. The intersection was reopened several hours later.

“My dad was a great father, a great family person, and always loved to help others,” Chris Dominguez said after his father’s death.

The victim’s son, Chris Dominguez, has since come forward and shared that his father had recently retired from his career as a corporate attorney and was looking forward to enjoying his retirement and traveling.

“My dad was a great father, a great family person, and always loved to help others,” Chris said of his dad.

“He was a true believer that education is a key to success … and he saw potential in people that couldn’t see it in themselves,” Chris continued, saying his dad helped send several family friends and others to college so they could better themselves and reach their full potentials.

According to Chris, although Frank had been looking forward to his retired life and traveling, all his plans were destroyed in an instant and “he won’t be able to enjoy it now because of someone’s bad choice.”

“I pray for (the alleged DUI driver’s) family as his choice not only effected my family, but also his,” Chris continued. “Please Uber or Lyft somewhere. If you can’t afford one please let me know and I will pay for it.”

Anyone with information related to this investigation or who witnessed the collision and has not yet provided a statement is encouraged to contact Deputy Josh Cail with the Menifee Traffic Team at (951) 210-1068 or email JCail@RiversideSheriff.org. Callers can refer to incident file number ME191450029 and can remain anonymous. Citizens may also submit a tip using the Sheriff’s CrimeTips online form.

This is a developing story that will be updated as new information is available.

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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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