DUI suspected in rollover crash that fatally ejected boy, 14

MURRIETA — A Temecula woman suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol is facing multiple felony charges after losing control of her SUV and crashing while traveling on I-215 near Los Alamos Rd. in Murrieta.

The Wednesday evening, Sept. 25, crash caused the woman’s SUV to overturn multiple times, fatally ejecting her unrestrained 14-year-old son onto the highway where he later died. The woman’s 16-year-old daughter, who was seat belted into the back seat of the SUV, survived with minor injuries.

The suspected drunk driver, who has since been identified as 39-year-old Terrina Edwards, was seriously injured in the crash and remains hospitalized with major injuries, according to CHP spokesman Officer Mike Lassig. She will be charged with her son’s death once she is released from the hospital, according to the officer.

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The victim killed in the solo-vehicle crash has since been identified as Rico Edwards, who was a freshman at Heritage High School in Romoland. According to a coroner’s release, Rico succumbed to his injuries at the scene of Wednesday’s crash and was pronounced deceased at 8:51 p.m.

In the wake of the tragic and “100% preventable” fatal crash, CHP determined Terrina was driving her silver 1998 Toyota 4Runner southbound on I-215 near Los Alamos Rd. at around 8:35 p.m., Lassig has since reported.

“For reasons which are under investigation, Terrina lost control of the 4Runner, causing it to roll over numerous times within the southbound traffic lanes,” Lassig explained.

Terrina’s teenage son, Rico, was not wearing a seat belt when the accident occurred “and was ejected … onto the southbound traffic lanes where he suffered fatal injuries,” according to Lassig.

“Terrina Edwards was determined to have been driving under the influence of an alcoholic beverage,” Lassig said. “She was placed under arrest for felony DUI, vehicular manslaughter, and child endangerment.”

The deadly crash left all southbound lanes of the freeway closed for several hours while officers investigated the accident’s cause and the wrecked SUV and vehicle debris were cleared from the roadway.

Lassig used the opportunity to remind citizens to always wear their seat belts.

“The CHP would like to remind all motorists … that drivers of motor vehicles, parents and caregivers are responsible to ensure that all minors are always properly restrained in the age appropriate safety belt system,” said Lassig.

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Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

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.

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