UPDATE: SAN JACINTO: 68-year-old woman killed in crash identified.

SAN JACINTO — Officials are investigating the cause of a traffic collision that left one person dead and five others injured Thursday, July 27. The deadly collision happened at the intersection of N. Sanderson Avenue and N. Ramona Boulevard, south of Ramona Expressway, in San Jacinto.

Riverside County Sheriff-Coroner officials later identified Linda Cato, 68, of San Jacinto as the person who was killed in the fatal collision. Cato died about twenty minutes after the collision was reported. A Coroner’s release indicated Cato was pronounced dead at 1:28 p.m. 

Deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff’s San Jacinto Police Station responded to the scene of the accident about 1:11, after several other motorists and witnesses called 911 to report the crash, Riverside Sheriff’s Sergeant Robert Himmelberg explained in a written press release after the deadly collision.

Twelve firefighters from three engine companies responded to the scene of the accident, according to Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Public Information Officer April Newman. They were assisted by a medic squad.

When they arrived, deputies and fire officials found the mangled wreckage of two vehicles, which were described as a white Honda Civic and a white Ford Explorer. Vehicle parts and debris were strewn across the roadway and traffic was unable to safely pass the scene of the accident.

One of the drivers, later identified as Cato, sustained major, traumatic injuries in the collision. She succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Members of the San Jacinto Traffic Team responded and assumed the investigation into the deadly accident. During their investigation, officials called for the temporary closure of Sanderson Avenue, between N. Ramona Boulevard and Cottonwood Avenue.

Traffic Team members determined Cato caused the accident when she failed to yield to an oncoming vehicle.

“(Cato) attempted to turn left onto Sanderson Avenue without yielding to the Explorer, and the two vehicles collided,” said Himmelberg.

Four victims sustained minor injuries, according to Himmelberg. They were evaluated by paramedics on scene and declined further treatment.

One victim sustained moderate injuries and was transported by ground ambulance to an area hospital for further evaluation and treatment.

Sanderson Avenue remained closed for more than four hours as the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department investigated the accident scene. Officials re-opened Sanderson Avenue about 5:30 p.m

Neither alcohol or drug use are suspected as contributing factors in the deadly collision.

Anyone with information regarding this incident or who witnessed the fatal crash is encouraged to contact Deputy Cortez at (951) 654-2702. Callers can refer to incident file number I172080053 and can remain anonymous.


Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

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Trevor Montgomery runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News and Anza Valley Outlook and also writes for Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego 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 and breaking his back in an off-duty 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 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.

s 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.

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