Pregnant woman critically injured, unborn child killed in Hemet head-on crash

HEMET, Calif. — A pregnant woman was critically injured and her unborn child was killed after a two-vehicle, head-on traffic collision in Hemet Sunday afternoon, Aug. 16. 

Officials say excessive speed and reckless driving led to the rollover crash, which happened in the area of Esplanade and Palm avenues and led to the hours-long closure of the roadway.


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City of Hemet Police and Fire personnel, along with Cal Fire-Riverside, Soboba Fire, Riverside Sheriff’s Department and AMR, were dispatched to the scene just before 5 p.m., after the city’s communications center received multiple calls reporting a major injury traffic collision, Lt. Eric Dickson later said of the accident.

911 callers told emergency dispatchers that two vehicles were involved and that one of the vehicles had rolled over, leaving the driver – a woman who was 8-months pregnant – trapped inside.

Callers also reported that the other vehicle had caught fire and that witnesses had pulled the vehicle’s driver from the burning car and were attempting to extinguish the flames with garden hoses.

Officials say the unsafe speed and reckless driving actions of a man in a Subaru caused his vehicle to careen into the opposing lane of traffic where it smashed head-on into a Jeep and caught fire. Robert Carter/Public Safety Incidents photo

When officials began arriving they reported finding two wrecked vehicles, described as a white Subaru wagon and silver Jeep SUV; and advised that vehicle parts and debris were scattered across the roadway.

The Jeep had rolled over into a tree on the south side of Esplanade Ave. west of Palm Ave., and the Subaru was still smoldering from a fire that witnesses and good Samaritans had already managed to extinguish.

Fire personnel began working to extricate the pregnant woman from her overturned Jeep and were able to pull her from the wrecked SUV as she screamed in agony. She was then transported to a local hospital where she was listed in critical condition. Later information obtained by RCNS indicated the victim’s unborn child was killed in the collision.

The driver of the Subaru was also transported to a local hospital and was listed in stable condition.

Based on the circumstances, members of Hemet PD’s Traffic Bureau responded to assist patrol officers with the collision investigation.

“Their preliminary investigation revealed that the driver of the silver Jeep was driving eastbound on Esplanade at about 40 MPH, approaching Palm,” described Dickson. “The driver of the Subaru was driving westbound on Esplanade, approaching Palm at a very high rate of speed, according to witness statements.”

“The driver of the Subaru passed several vehicles on the right and lost control of the vehicle shortly after he drove through the intersection of Esplanade and Palm,” Dickson continued; saying the unsafe speed and driving actions caused the Subaru to careen into the opposing lane of traffic where it smashed head-on into the Jeep.

The impact of the two vehicles caused the Jeep to overturn and crash into a tree, while the Subaru “spun numerous times before coming to rest and catching on fire,” said Dickson.

Firefighters from multiple agencies work to free a trapped and critically injured pregnant woman from her wrecked and overturned Jeep SUV. Robert Carter/Public Safety Incidents photo

While officials worked at the scene they called for the temporary closure of Esplanade Ave. in both directions, between Palm and Pine avenues. The roadway was re-opened about six hours later, according to Dickson.

Officials have not yet determined if drug or alcohol intoxication were contributing factors in the collision, which remains under investigation.

Click any image to open full-size gallery.

Robert Carter/Pubic Safety Incidents photos above, video below.

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Contact the writer: [email protected]

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.

One comment

  • This was a family member and the anger I feel for the person who did this is to much but most am heart broken please keep her in your prayers as she fights for her life now 🙏😥