TEMECULA: Woman rescued from partially submerged car after solo-vehicle accident

TEMECULA – A woman sustained minor injuries and firefighters had to perform a water rescue when the victim’s car went off the right-hand shoulder of Interstate 15 Freeway. The accident and subsequent rescue happened north of Rancho California Road in Temecula.

Cal Fire/Riverside County firefighters and other emergency first responders were dispatched to the scene of the accident about 11:15 a.m., after several witnesses called 911 to report the vehicle accident.

Callers initially told emergency dispatchers the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was trapped inside her car and that the vehicle was sinking into the water. The victim’s car was described as a black Acura sedan.

Within minutes of the initial 911 call, while firefighters, California Highway Patrol officers, and AMR medics were still en route to the accident, callers updated that the woman had climbed out of her vehicle and was on top of the car waiting for rescue personnel.

Within five minutes of the accident, callers told dispatchers the vehicle had sunk halfway into the water.

“The first arriving Chief Officer reported one female on top of a vehicle, with water up to the windows,” Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire spokeswoman April Newman said shortly after firefighters arrived at the scene of the accident. The water was flowing past the partially submerged car about two miles per hour according to Newman.

Firefighters rescued the adult female without further injury, according to Newman.

“Firefighters took a 14-foot ladder and anchored it to the open passenger window of the vehicle,” Newman explained in an update provided shortly before 12:30 p.m. “The female then took four steps across the ladder to the arms of an awaiting firefighter.”


The victim was treated at the scene by American Medical Response medics. She declined further treatment.

The vehicle was eventually recovered from the water by a towing company, which had to use more than 30 feet of cable to recover the car from where it came to rest.

California Highway Patrol officers are investigating the cause of the crash.


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Trevor Montgomery 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 in an off-duty accident.

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including the Robert Presley Detention Center, the Southwest Station in Temecula, the Hemet Station, and the Lake Elsinore Station, along with many 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, Personnel and Background Investigations and he finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator.

Trevor has been married for more than 26 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and has 13 children and 12 – soon to be 13 – grandchildren.