UPDATED: Officials identify second person killed in Domenigoni head-on crash

UPDATED: Thursday, Aug. 2, 7:50 p.m., With second victim’s ID

UPDATED: Tuesday, July 31, 3 a.m., With first victim’s ID

WINCHESTER — Authorities identified yesterday a second senior citizen who died in a two-vehicle crash in the unincorporated community of Winchester, last Tuesday evening, July 24. The double fatal accident happened when a driver veered across a center median and smashed head-on into another car on Domenigoni Parkway, about a half mile east of Patterson Road.


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CHP, Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire, and other emergency first responders were dispatched to the accident about 8:55 p.m., after receiving reports of the major-injury collision. 911 callers told emergency dispatchers two vehicles had collided head-on after one of the two cars plowed into the other while possibly traveling the wrong direction on Domenigoni.

CHP officers assess the damaged vehicles after a double fatal head-on crash on Domenigoni Parkway. Miguel Shannon/OC Hawk News photo

When officials arrived they found two sedans with heavy front-end damage in the westbound lanes of Domenigoni. Other vehicles had pulled over and numerous good Samaritans were trying to provide aid and comfort to the two drivers and sole occupants of the destroyed vehicles.

Officials determined the two victims were trapped inside the mangled wrecks of the cars, which were blocking both lanes of westbound traffic. Both victims had sustained major traumatic injuries and were clinging to life.

About fifteen minutes after the accident happened, while firefighters were preparing to use the “Jaws of Life” to extricate the two drivers, one of the pair – later identified as Joseph Perry, 82, of Hemet – succumbed to his injuries. He was pronounced deceased at the scene at 9:08 p.m.

Firefighters eventually managed to pull the second victim, later identified as Lorraine Johansen, 82, of Menifee, from her vehicle and she was rushed to Menifee Valley Medical Center. Despite life-saving efforts, Johansen succumbed to her injuries about an hour after the wreck and was pronounced deceased by hospital staff at 9:49 p.m.

While firefighters worked at the scene and the wrecked vehicles were towed from the area CHP investigated the cause of the deadly collision. Based on evidence at the scene and witness statements, officers determined that just before the crash Perry had been driving  a silver, 2000 Saturn Ion eastbound on Domenigoni. At the same time, Johansen had been driving a silver, 2016 Toyota Corolla westbound approaching the Saturn.

Both drivers and sole occupants of the two sedans died after the head-on collision. Miguel Shannon/OC Hawk News photo

“For reasons yet to be determined, (Johansen) swerved left, drove across the dirt center median and collided directly into the front of the Toyota,” CHP spokesperson Darren Meyer wrote in a press release after the deadly crash.

While officials worked at the scene, CHP called for the temporary closure of the westbound lanes of Domenigoni Parkway. Within 30 minutes, traffic was reportedly backed up more than a mile and some motorists made dangerous U-Turns across the center dirt median to go back the way they had come. The roadway remained closed for several hours and was later re-opened to through traffic.

Intoxication and/or medical conditions have not yet been ruled out as possible contributing factors in this collision and CHP’s investigation is ongoing.

Click any image to open full-size gallery.

Miguel Shannon/OC Hawk News video

Will Whelan/Hemet Valley Incident video


Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 47, recently moved to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for several other news organizations, including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, The Valley Chronicle and Anza Valley Outlook, as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and The 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 27 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” boasts 13 children and 14 – soon to be 16 – grandchildren.