UPDATE: Victims, 19 & 63, ID’d after deadly Riverside crash

UPDATED: Monday, May 18, With coroner’s release of information

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Authorities say two Riverside residents, ages 19 and 63, were killed after a head-on collision in Riverside Friday afternoon, May 15.

The deadly crash, which is still under investigation, happened in the area of Central Ave. and Montclair Dr., in front of Sierra Middle School, according to officials now investigating the fatal collision.

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City of Riverside Police and Fire, along with other emergency personnel, were dispatched to the scene about 12:37 p.m., after receiving multiple reports of a major injury traffic collision involving two vehicles, Riverside PD officials have since reported.

911 callers told emergency dispatchers that two vehicles were involved, including one that crashed into a tree, leaving two victims trapped in their sedan.

When officials arrived they found two critically injured victims in a 2011 Toyota Corolla and a third victim in a 2015 Jeep.

Despite life saving efforts the driver of the Toyota, later identified as Sharlene Ayala, 19, of Riverside, succumbed to her injuries and passed away at the scene.

Ayala’s passenger, Patricia Romero, 63, of Riverside, was rushed to Riverside Community Hospital, where she also succumbed to her injuries about an hour after the crash.

Later coroner’s reports indicated Ayala was pronounced deceased at 12:43 p.m., while Romero passed away at 1:44 p.m.

Officials did not specify if the 28-year-old driver of the Jeep, who they later said caused the crash, was injured or required medical treatment.

Based on the circumstances, members of Riverside PD’s Major Accident Investigation Team (M.A.I.T.) responded and assumed the investigation.

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The preliminary investigation revealed the driver of the Jeep was traveling westbound on Central Ave. when his vehicle crossed over the center line and smashed head-on into the Toyota, which had been traveling eastbound on Central Ave.

Officials have not yet stated if distracted driving or alcohol and/or drug intoxication were contributing factors in the crash, which is still under investigation.

Anyone with information regarding this collision is encouraged to call Riverside Police Traffic Detective J. Derouin at (951) 826-8722. Callers can refer to incident file number 200012667 and can remain anonymous.


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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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