UPDATED: Driver was DUI, fleeing other crash before RivCo wreck that killed teen

UPDATED: Thursday, May 7, 4 p.m.

See Original Story and photos below.

MORENO VALLEY, Calif. — Officials investigating a fatal, solo-vehicle rollover that ejected two teens, killing one, on Monday morning say the driver was fleeing the scene of a minor traffic collision when he lost control of his SUV and wrecked.

The deadly rollover crash happened on Gilman Springs Rd., east of Kevin Rd., just a few miles from where the initial minor collision happened on SR-60 in the Badlands, according to California Highway Patrol.

The driver, Jose Angel Perez, 18, of Lomita, was later determined to be under the influence of marijuana and has since been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs, gross vehicular manslaughter, and reckless driving resulting in death or injury.


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Earlier reports indicate officials were alerted to Monday’s fatal accident around 11 a.m., after witnesses called 911 to report that an SUV had overturned, ejecting two people onto the roadway, CHP Public Information Officer Matt Napier has since reported.

When officials arrived they found a red 1999 Chevrolet Tahoe wrecked and on its side. Vehicle parts, debris and personal items thrown from the SUV as it overturned were scattered across the roadway, along with the ejected victims.

Officials say 18-year-old Jose Perez was DUI and fleeing the scene of a non-injury minor traffic collision when he lost control of his SUV on Gilman Springs Rd. The vehicle overturned several times, ejecting two teens, including 17-year-old Catalina Esteves, who later died from her injuries. CHP photo

Witnesses and good Samaritans were performing CPR on one of the victims, later identified as Catalina Raquel Esteves, 17, of Calimesa. The critically injured teen was rushed to Riverside University Health System’s trauma center in Moreno Valley, where she was pronounced deceased upon arrival.

A coroner’s release indicated she was pronounced deceased by hospital staff shortly before noon.

Both Perez and another passenger, since identified as Christopher Sanchez, 18, of Fontana, were taken to RUHS with injuries described as minor to moderate.

During their subsequent investigation CHP officers learned Perez was fleeing the scene of a non-injury, minor traffic collision and traveling at a high rate of speed just before the deadly wreck.

“After the collision, Perez fled the scene and did not stop with the other involved vehicle,” explained Napier.

“While fleeing the prior collision, Perez made an unsafe turning movement onto the dirt shoulder on the right side of the roadway, just east of Kevin Rd.,” Napier continued.

Witnesses reported that due to his speed and unsafe driving actions, Perez lost control of the SUV, which careened across the roadway before overturning multiple times, ejecting his two teenage passengers.

Perez was later determined to be under the influence of marijuana and subsequently booked into Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility in Banning, where he remains in custody without bail.

Online jail records indicate he was scheduled to be arraigned at an unspecified court this morning.

Anyone with information about this investigation or who witnessed the deadly crash and has not yet provided a statement to law enforcement officials is encouraged to contact CHP’s San Gorgonio Pass Area Station at (951) 769-2000. Callers can refer to incident file number F08365520 and can remain anonymous.

Original Story: Teen killed in Moreno Valley rollover crash

MORENO VALLEY, Calif. — Two people were injured and a teen was killed after a solo-vehicle rollover crash in Moreno Valley Monday, May 4, according to the California Highway Patrol and Cal Fire officials.

The victim killed in the yesterday’s fatal accident, which happened on Gilman Springs Rd., between Lisa Ln. and the Moreno Valley Freeway, has since been identified as a 17-year-old girl from Calimesa.


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CHP, Cal Fire, AMR, and other emergency personnel were dispatched to the scene of yesterday’s deadly crash around 11 a.m., after receiving reports of a solo-vehicle rollover traffic accident involving an SUV.

Officials began arriving at the scene within minutes of the dispatched call and found a wrecked red SUV on its side.

Officials work at the scene of yesterday afternoon’s solo-vehicle rollover accident that killed a 17-year-old Calimesa girl. Moreno Valley Matters/Facebook photo

Witnesses and good Samaritans had helped pull the victims from the SUV and were performing CPR and attempting other life-saving measures on one of the crash victims, which paramedics took over once they were on scene

Three victims from the overturned vehicle, including the critically injured teen, were eventually rushed by ground ambulances to Riverside University Health System in Moreno Valley for further treatment.

One of the other victims sustained critical, life-threatening injuries, according to Cal Fire; who described the other victim’s injuries as moderate.

The teen, who was later identified as Catalina Esteves, later succumbed to her injuries and passed away at the hospital. A coroner’s release indicated Esteves was pronounced deceased by doctors at 11:53 a.m.

The current conditions of the other victims were not immediately available and CHP is continuing to investigate the cause of the deadly crash.

Click any image to open full-size gallery.

CHP photos above, Citizen photos below.

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Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 48, moved in 2017 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 16 grandchildren.


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