UPDATED: HEMET: Officials identify skateboarder killed by hit and run driver

HEMET — Officials have identified a 20-year-old skateboarder who was fatally struck by a hit and driver late Wednesday night, Mar. 28, at the intersection of Florida Avenue and Girard Streets in the City of Hemet. After fatally hitting the man, the unidentified driver fled the scene of the deadly collision, leaving the dying man’s lifeless body in the middle of the roadway.

UPDATE: HEMET: Menifee man arrested in fatal hit and run that killed new father

Juan “Johnny” Cuevas, 20, was killed while crossing Florida Avenue on a skateboard late Wednesday night. GoFundMe image

Another motorist who witnessed all or part of the collision told emergency dispatchers a vehicle, possibly a silver or grey Pontiac Grand Am or Grand Prix, hit the victim and was last seen continuing eastbound from the scene on Florida Avenue.

Riverside County Sheriff-Coroner’s officials identified 20-year-old, Juan Manuel Cuevas Jr., of Hemet, as the man killed in the deadly hit and run. According to a coroner’s release Cuevas died within minutes of the accident and was pronounced deceased at the scene at 11:10 p.m.

Cuevas was reportedly riding his skateboard home from visiting his newborn son when he was hit while crossing Florida Avenue. It was not immediately known if he was inside the nearby marked cross walk and officials are still analyzing evidence collected at the scene to determine how yet another tragic vehicle versus pedestrian accident occurred on Florida Avenue.

SEE ALSO: UPDATED: VALLE VISTA: Officials ID 58-year-old pedestrian killed while crossing Hwy 74

SEE ALSO: 18-year-old-woman fatally hit by 2 cars while crossing busy Hwy 74 ID’d

SEE ALSO: Distracted bicyclist hit by truck hospitalized

Officers called for the temporary closure of Florida Avenue between Mayflower and Girard Streets while they investigated the fatal hit and run. Eye News Media Productions photo

The evening after the accident, more than 50 family members and friends gathered at the corner where Cuevas was fatally struck and held a candlelight vigil for their lost loved one.

A makeshift memorial in front of Hemet’s Provident Bank building with large balloons, candles, messages and photos of Cuevas served as the gathering point for vigil attendees who said prayers and shared anecdotes and happy memories about the deceased man.

They also called for help identifying the driver who so callously left Cuevas to die in the roadway.

One person who said she knew Cuevas, Aurora Lopez, later told ABC7 News that the victim recently became a father.

“Johnny was just coming home from seeing his baby,” when he was fatally struck, Lopez explained.

City of Hemet Police and Fire along with other emergency first responders rushed to the scene of the collision shortly before 11 p.m., when a motorist called 911 and reported finding the victim’s body in the roadway.

Officials began arriving at the scene within two minutes of the dispatched call and the first officer to arrive at the scene reported finding a woman performing CPR on the victim, Hemet Police Sergeant Dan Reinbolt explained the day after the deadly hit and run.

“Officers relieved a citizen who was already performing CPR on the pedestrian, and continued CPR and life saving measures as paramedics began arriving,” Reinbolt explained.

Officers spent several hours investigating the fatal hit and run and are confident they will be able to locate the driver who fled the scene, leaving the victim’s lifeless body in the roadway. Eye News Media Productions photo

Despite life-saving efforts, Cuevas succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene. Based on the circumstances, Hemet PD’s Traffic Team responded to the scene and assumed the hit and run investigation.

Officers investigating the hit and run determined Cuevas had been crossing Florida Avenue either at or just east of the intersection of Florida Avenue and Girard Street when he was struck by the vehicle, possibly the Pontiac reported by the witness who called 911 to report the accident. Officers believe the hit and run suspect’s vehicle might have front-end damage from the collision.

According to Reinbolt, after hitting the victim, the hit and run driver did not stop or attempt to render aid to the mortally injured man and continued eastbound on Florida Avenue.

As the investigation progressed Cuevas’ body remained in the roadway, waiting for coroner’s officials to arrive and take custody of the victim. Grief-stricken family members and friends stood nearby, just outside the cordoned off crime scene. One woman was seen crying inconsolably, surrounded by other friends and family who comforted her while watching the investigation continue.

Traffic Team members were seen documenting, photographing and collecting various items of evidence including broken glass that appeared to possibly be from one of the suspect’s headlights and turn signals. A broken skateboard and other personal items also lay scattered across the roadway and were all later collected as evidence.

While officers investigated the fatal collision they called for the temporary closure of Florida Avenue between Mayflower and Girard Streets and Hemet PD volunteers soon arrived at the scene to assist. Officials eventually brought in hard barricades and diverted all traffic along the main east/west corridor through the city.

Officers found and collected evidence, including glass believed to be from the suspect vehicle’s headlights and turn signal. Eye News Media Productions photo

As the investigation continued the following day, officers searched for any nearby security cameras that may have picked up all or part of the fatal incident and they are asking for the public’s help locating and identifying the driver who left the scene of the incident.

After the Cuevas’ death, family members who established a GoFundMe account to help offset burial expenses explained, “Johnny is a son, father, grandson, nephew and cousin who was taken too soon.”

As of Friday morning, the GoFundMe had raised nearly $1,000 toward the fundraiser’s goal of $5,000.

The day after Cuevas’ death, the victim’s sister, Megan Fahrenback pleaded for answers in her brother’s death.

“My brother died in a hit and run last night,” Fahrenback explained. “He was a son, a father and a wonderful brother.”

“He was an innocent soul that did not do anything to deserve this,” Fahrenback continued. “Please, we need justice. We need to find who killed him. If anyone has any information on this incident please come forward.”

Hemet PD’s investigation is active and ongoing and detectives are looking for a silver or grey Pontiac, possibly a with collision damage to the front end. Anyone with information about this investigation or who witnessed this collision are encouraged to contact the Hemet Police Department Traffic Division at (951) 765-3725.

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Eye News Media Productions video


Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 46, recently moved to Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for Riverside County based newspapers Valley News, The Valley Chronicle and Anza Valley Outlook as well as 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, breaking his back and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries 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 27 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 14 grandchildren.


  • Tired stoners and tweakeRS in hemet

    Oh well another dumbfk of the streets

    • You’re about a lame ass mother fucker talking shit about someone who was hit .you know nothing about that person the stupid fuck in this is the dumb bastard that hit him then ran and yer stupid ass for opening your fuckin mouth about the one that was hit . It’s stupid ignorant people like your ass that make this town a shit hole as well u inconsiderate fucker . I hope you one day feel the same pain a mother or father has felt losing their child . No matter how good or fucked up the kid is it’s still someone’s kid. Stupid ass . Lame people like u suck .

  • becareful what you say

    i know you aint calling my SON a dumbfk? Ass wipe…. someone needs to run your ass down stupid Ass mutha fuker…..thats my boy and my son your talking about little scary bitch. you better watch yourself!!!!!!!!!