Local firefighter, 26, ID’d after fatal Redding motorcycle crash
UPDATED: Friday, Sept. 13, 3:15 p.m., With coroner’s release of information.
REDDING — An off-duty Cal Fire firefighter suffered fatal injuries while riding a motorcycle after he collided with a raised curb and was ejected from his motorcycle into a metal pole Thursday evening, Sept. 12. Excessive speed has been cited as a contributing factor after yesterday’s fatal crash, which happened on Hartnell Ave. near Shotwick Trail. Before his tragic passing, Whaley was assigned to Cal Fire’s Shasta-Trinity Unit, according to officials.
LEADING THE SCNS HEADLINES:
City of Redding Police and Fire Departments, along with other emergency personnel, were dispatched to the scene shortly after 7 p.m., after receiving reports of a single-vehicle crash involving a motorcycle, Redding Police Sgt. Mark Montgomery reported after the fatal accident.
When officials arrived they found the seriously injured motorcyclist and began to administer first aid to the critically injured rider. His wrecked motorcycle was found nearby against a tree.
He was then rushed by ambulance to Mercy Medical Center in Redding where, despite advanced life-saving measures, he succumbed to his injuries.
Off-duty Cal Fire firefighter Brock Whaley, 26, of Redding, was killed after losing control of his motorcycle and crashing yesterday. Brock Whaley Facebook photo
“The decedent suffered major injuries as a result of the collision and was pronounced deceased at the hospital by emergency personnel,” Shasta County Chief Deputy Coroner Lt. Randall has since reported.
Randall identified the rider as 26-year-old, Brock Jay Whaley, of Redding. Cal Fire officials has since confirmed Whaley was a firefighter who worked for their agency.
During their investigation, Redding PD officers interviewed several witnesses who reported that just before the crash Whaley “had been traveling at a high rate of speed on Hartnell Avenue west of Shotwick Trail,” Montgomery explained.
As Whaley was riding eastbound, he failed to negotiate a sweeping curve in the roadway and his motorcycle hit the raised sidewalk. The impact with the curb caused Whaley to be ejected from his motorcycle and he struck a metal pole.
After being ejected into the metal pole, Whaley’s motorcycle continued to slide eastbound on the sidewalk where it then struck a tree. There were no other vehicles or pedestrians involved in the deadly accident, according to Montgomery.
Although Whaley was wearing a helmet at the time of collision, “the helmet came off during initial contact with the sidewalk,” Montgomery reported.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Firefighter Brock Whaley … who tragically passed away while off duty,” Cal Fire officials said in part in a social media release after Brock’s passing. “Please join us in sending our condolences to his friends, family, and the Shasta-Trinity unit during this difficult time.”
After his passing, grieving friends and family members took to social media; sharing their thoughts, sadness, memories and funny stories about the man who they described as a “Gentle Giant” who was “selfless, loyal and compassionate.”
“He was that guy who always makes you laugh, and treated all the kids like they were is own nephews and nieces,” Jeff Davies said in a social media post. “We lost one hell of a good friend, teammate, brother. We are going to miss you Brock!”
The fatal crash remains under investigation by Redding Police Department, but Montgomery said neither alcohol or drug intoxication appeared to be contributing factors in Whaley’s death.
Anyone with information regarding this investigation is encouraged to contact Redding PD at (530) 225-4200. Callers can refer to incident file number 19R059944 and can remain anonymous.
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Trevor Montgomery, 48, 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 or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, (the now defunct) Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; 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 29 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.