DUI hit and run kills Perris couple – Man arrested

PERRIS, Calif. — Two Perris residents were killed after an allegedly drunk driver slammed into their vehicle, killing them Monday afternoon, July 13. Although the driver fled the scene of the fatal collision, he found hiding a short time later and arrested.

The deadly accident, which forced the hours-long closure of the intersection, happened at the intersection of Harley Knox Blvd. and Patterson Ave., in the city of Perris.


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Deputies from the Perris Sheriff’s Station, Cal Fire-Riverside firefighters and paramedics, and AMR personnel were dispatched to the scene about 11:44 a.m., after receiving reports of a major injury traffic collision with at least one victim trapped, Riverside Sheriff’s Sgt. Hibbler has since said of the deadly hit and run.

When officials arrived they found to wrecked vehicles, described as a white Chevy Blazer and dark-colored Ford F150 pickup truck.

Officials say an allegedly intoxicated driver of a Chevy Blazer fled the scene on foot after plowing into a Ford Pickup, killing both occupants. The man who ran from the scene was later apprehended and will be booked into jail on charges related to the deadly collision after receiving medical treatment. Perris Sheriff’s Station photo

Although the driver of the Chevy SUV was nowhere to be found, paramedics immediately began treating a couple from the pickup truck.

Despite life-saving efforts, both the driver and passenger of the Ford, one of whom was left trapped inside the mangled wreckage of the pickup, sustained critical injuries and both succumbed to their injuries and passed away at the scene.

Riverside County Sheriff-Coroner officials have since identified the victims killed in the collision as 68-year-old, Rafael Navarro Duarte, and 69-year-old, Maria Navarro. Both were residents of Perris.

A coroner’s release indicated Maria was pronounced deceased by medical staff at 11:57 a.m., while Rafael was pronounced deceased minutes later, at 12:02 p.m.

While firefighters and medical personnel worked at the scene, deputies began searching the area for the hit and run driver, later identified as 29-year-old, Kevin Rodriguez, Perris.

“The driver of the Chevy Blazer fled the scene on foot and was later apprehended near the scene of the collision,” explained Hibbler.  

Based on the circumstances, members of the Perris Station’s Traffic Reconstruction Team responded to the scene and assumed the investigation.  

“Preliminary investigation suggests the driver of the Chevy Blazer (Rodriguez) was driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance at the time of this collision,” said Hibbler.

“After receiving medical clearance, (Rodriguez) will be booked at the Robert Presley Detention Center for driving under the influence and homicide,” Hibbler continued.

As of this report, Rodriguez was still receiving treatment and had not yet been booked into jail.

Anyone who may have witnessed this collision and has not been interviewed is urged to immediately contact Deputy Kiebach at the Perris Sheriff’s Station at (951) 210-1074. Callers can refer to incident file number PE201950054 and can remain anonymous.

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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.