CDCR officer killed in rollover crash near Old Station

UPDATED: Sunday, June 28, 12:10 p.m.

See Original Story below.

OLD STATION, Calif. — California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) officials yesterday announced that a man found deceased after a solo-vehicle, rollover crash near Old Station in Shasta County was that of 53-year-old, CDCR Correctional Officer Richard A. Bianchi.

According to a CDCR release announcing Bianchi’s death, prison officials say the correctional officer was employed at High Desert State Prison. He was making the nearly 130 mile trip from the Susanville facility to provide security coverage for an inmate already being treated at a Redding hospital when the deadly rollover occurred.


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“CDCR is mandated to provide health care services to the incarcerated population,” corrections officials have since explained.

“When an inmate needs health care treatment that cannot be provided at a prison and is admitted to a hospital, they are transported and guarded by correctional officers who are responsible for their security and the safety of the public,” officials continued.

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Correctional Officer Richard A. Bianchi, 53, was found deceased early Thursday morning. He was ejected from an unmarked CDCR sedan that overturned down a steep embankment off SR-44, about four miles east of Old Station. CDCR photo

CHP and other emergency personnel were dispatched to the scene of Thursday morning’s deadly crash shortly before 5:30 a.m., CHP had previously reported the day of the fatal accident.

Upon discovering the scene of the crash, officials found Bianchi’s lifeless body near an unmarked white 2009 Chevy sedan registered to the State of California and CDCR.

Bianchi had already succumbed to his serious traumatic injuries and he was pronounced deceased at the scene, CHP and CDCR have since reported.

Evidence at the scene indicated Bianchi had been ejected from the vehicle after it careened off SR-44 and overturned down a steep embankment along the north side of the rural mountain highway.

Bianchi began his CDCR career in October, 2018, “and was part of the High Desert State Prison (HDSP) family since Feb. 4, 2011,” CDCR reported in yesterday’s update.

He is survived by his wife and two adult children.

“My prayers go out to Correctional Officer Bianchi’s family, friends and co-workers on behalf of myself and the entire CDCR family,” CDCR Secretary Ralph Diaz later said of Bianchi’s death.

“Correctional Officer Bianchi’s death is felt through this entire department,” Diaz continued. “His service to California was largely unseen by the citizens of this state but his daily work and dedication will not be forgotten be his peers and myself.”

After learning of Bianchi’s passing, HDSP Acting Warden Jason Pickett said, “Our sincerest condolences are extended to the Bianchi family, friends and loved ones.”

“Correctional Officer Bianchi was a consummate professional and an excellent member of the HDSP team,” Pickett continued. “He and his family will be in our thoughts and we thank him for his selfless service.”

CHP’s investigation into the deadly crash is active and ongoing.

Original Story: Rollover crash near Old Station leaves one dead

OLD STATION, Calif. — Authorities have released few details other than to confirm today that they are continuing to investigate a fatal rollover accident with ejection that happened in the Intermountain area of Shasta County Thursday, June 25.

The deadly crash occurred sometime overnight or during the early morning hours along SR-44, about four miles east of Old Station, according to officials.

California Highway Patrol and other emergency personnel were dispatched to reports of a solo-vehicle crash with possible ejection around 5:23 a.m., CHP officials have since reported.

According to CHP, the adult male driver of a white 2009 Chevy sedan was traveling westbound on SR-44 nearing the small, unincorporated mountain community of Old Station, when for unknown reasons he drifted off the right side of the roadway.

After leaving the paved road onto a dirt shoulder, the Chevy careened down a steep embankment, where the sedan overturned; ejecting the driver and sole-occupant from the vehicle.

The driver, who has not yet been identified pending further investigation and notification of the victim’s family, was found outside the overturned and wrecked Chevy, according to officers; who said the man was pronounced deceased at the scene.

CHP is continuing to investigate the cause of Thursday’s crash.

This is a developing story that will be updated as new information becomes available.

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Trevor Montgomery, 48, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, (the now defunct) Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; 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 29 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 16 grandchildren.