DHS pedestrian, 76, not using cross walk when fatally struck

PALM DESERT — An elderly pedestrian was fatally struck while crossing a busy Palm Desert road Monday evening, April 29. The victim was not using a designated cross walk when the deadly crash happened in the area of Town Center Way and Hahn Rd.


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Riverside County Sheriff-Coroner officials have since identified the victim as William Dorsey, 76, of Desert Hot Springs, as the victim killed in the collision. A coroner’s release indicated he passed away at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage and was pronounced deceased at 8:33 p.m.

Deputies assigned to Palm Desert Police Department, along with Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire and other emergency personnel, responded to the scene about 8:10 p.m., after receiving a report of a major injury traffic collision involving a pickup truck and pedestrian, Riverside Sheriff’s Sgt. Sergeant Randy Vasquez later reported.

When officials arrived at the scene they found the elderly victim down in the roadway. The involved Ford pickup truck was stopped nearby.

“The collision caused major injuries to the pedestrian who was treated at the scene by emergency medical personnel and transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries,” the Sgt. explained.

Based on the circumstances, members of Palm Desert PD’s Traffic Team responded to the scene and assumed the investigation into the cause of the fatal collision.

The driver of the vehicle, a 44-year-old, Palm Desert man who was not publicly identified, remained at the scene and cooperated with the sheriff’s investigation. 

During their investigation Traffic Team members determined the victim “was crossing Town Center Way outside of the designated cross walk when he was struck by a Ford truck traveling southbound,” explained Vasquez. 

Although the investigation is ongoing, Vasquez has said that neither alcohol intoxication or drug or impairment appeared to be contributing factors in the fatal crash.

Anyone who witnessed the collision or has further information about the ongoing investigation is encouraged to contact Deputy Bradley Stone of the Palm Desert Police Department’s Traffic Team at (760) 836-1600. Callers can refer to incident file number T191190131 and can remain anonymous.

Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 47, moved last year 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 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 28 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 15 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.