DUI, reckless driving may have led to fatal Hemet crash

UPDATED: Thursday, May 14, 4:30 p.m.

See Original Story, photos and video below.

HEMET, Calif. — Authorities investigating last Tuesday’s deadly crash, which killed a 27-year-old Hemet man and seriously injured the driver, say driving under the influence and reckless driving may have led to the solo-vehicle accident.

The wreck, which is still under investigation, happened on N. Kirby St., just south of W. Fruitvale Ave., according to Hemet Police Department officials.


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City of Hemet Police and Fire personnel were first alerted to last Tuesday’s fatal accident after receiving reports of a black Acura that careened out of control and jumped a curb before sideswiping a wall and smashing into a tree.

Despite life-saving efforts the passenger, since identified as 27-year-old David Jones, of Hemet, succumbed to his injuries and passed away at the scene.

The driver, Ernie Alaniz, 26, of San Jacinto, was seriously injured in the crash and was rushed to an area trauma center after witnesses and good Samaritans worked together to pull him from his wrecked sedan.

His current condition has not been updated and was unknown as of this report.

During their subsequent investigation, officers determined Alaniz was traveling southbound on Kirby St. “when he accelerated and lost control of the vehicle,” Hemet PD has since reported.

“Witnesses report Alaniz displayed erratic driving behavior prior to the collision,” officials continued; saying, “DUI is suspected and the investigation is ongoing.”

Original Story: One dead, one seriously injured after Hemet crash

HEMET, Calif. — A passenger was killed and a driver was seriously injured after a vehicle crashed into a Hemet wall and tree on N. Kirby St., just south of W. Fruitvale Ave., Tuesday evening, May 12.

Although an air ambulance was initially launched to the area to airlift the critically injured passenger, the helicopter was later canceled after the 27-year-old Hemet man succumbed to his injuries and passed away at the scene.


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City of Hemet Police and Fire, along with paramedics and other emergency personnel, responded to the area around 8 p.m., after receiving reports of a single-vehicle traffic collision involving a sedan that crashed into a wall before smashing into a tree.

911 callers reported two victims were unconscious and trapped inside the wrecked car, according to official radio traffic at the time.

A driver was seriously injured and a 27-year-old passenger was killed when a vehicle crashed into a Hemet wall and tree last night. Timothy Franzese/Public Safety Incidents photo

Officers arrived at the scene within minutes of the dispatched call and found a heavily damaged black Acura with two seriously injured victims trapped inside.

When firefighter and paramedics arrived moments later and assessed the crash and victims’ injuries, a battalion chief requested additional fire and rescue resources along with an air ambulance.

Although a Mercy Air Ambulance was launched to the area to airlift the critically injured passenger and a temporary landing zone was established in the area of N. Sanderson and Menlo avenues, the airship was cancelled minutes later when the victim went into full arrest and passed away at the scene.

The victim has since been identified as David Jones, 27, of Hemet. A subsequent coroner’s release indicated Jones was pronounced deceased by medical personnel at 8:38 p.m.

The seriously injured driver, who was pulled from the wrecked car by witnesses, was later transported by ground ambulance to an area trauma center.

The driver’s condition as of this report had not been updated and was unknown.


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A battalion chief at the scene later reported that the vehicle was traveling southbound on Kirby St. when the driver lost control and the car careened over a curb before sideswiping a wall and crashing into a tree.

The impact caved in the side of the Acura and caused the severe injuries that killed the passenger.

As officers investigated the cause of the crash and firefighters continued to work at the scene, officials called for the temporary closure of Kirby St.

Hemet PD is continuing to investigate the cause of last night’s crash and as of this report it was not yet known if alcohol or drug intoxication were contributing factors in the fatal accident.

Antone who witnessed this crash and has not yet provided a statement to authorities are encouraged to contact Hemet PD at (951) 765-2400. Callers can refer to incident file number 203429 and can remain anonymous.

Click any image to open full-size gallery.

Timothy Franzese/Public Safety Incidents photos

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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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