DUI suspected after fiery, three-vehicle I-15 wreck kills Murrieta teen
UPDATED: Friday, April 23, 3:30 p.m., With additional details from CHP.
Originally Published: Friday, April 23, 12:26 p.m.
TEMECULA, Calif. — Authorities say a DUI-related, three-vehicle crash involving a tractor-trailer big rig combo, box truck and passenger car led to the death of one of the vehicle’s occupants in Temecula yesterday afternoon, Thursday, April 22. Two of the vehicles burst into flames after the deadly collision, which happened on the southbound I-15, south of Winchester Road.
Sources familiar with the crash have said the victim killed in the collision was on his way to Springs Charter School in Temecula, where he was a senior; however, officials have not confirmed that information.
LEADING THE RCNS HEADLINES:
California Highway Patrol, Cal Fire-Riverside and other emergency personnel were dispatched to the scene around 12:30 p.m. after receiving multiple reports of the fiery crash.
When official arrived they located a line of three involved vehicles in the slow lane described as a tractor-trailer combo, box truck and passenger sedan.
A firefighter is seen working at the location of a three-vehicle crash on Interstate 15 near Winchester Road that injured three and killed a Murrieta resident yesterday afternoon. Riverside County News photo
The big rig, which sustained moderate rear-end damage, was in front of the trio of vehicles while the box truck, which was fully engulfed in flames, was in the rear. The passenger sedan, which was also on fire and was left completely unrecognizable by the collision, was sandwiched between the two much larger vehicles. It has since been identified by CHP as a 2015 Toyota Prius.
Paramedics found one injured occupant from the box truck, while a second victim was later found deceased inside the Toyota, according to witnesses at the scene. Neither of the occupants of the big rig were injured.
The victim killed in the crash has thus far only been identified as a male from Murrieta. His name and age have not been released, pending notification of his family.
CHP has since reported that yesterday’s fatal collision occurred when a 47-year-old Bloomington woman driving the big rig began to slow for traffic. The victim in the Prius also began to slow for the big rig ahead of him.
At that point, Kevin Wayne May, 47, of Fontana, who was driving the box truck, failed to slow down and plowed at high speed into the back of the Toyota, which was then crushed between the box truck and big rig.
The impact caused both the Toyota and box truck to burst into flames.
Although May was able to jump from his burning truck, the driver of the Toyota was unable to escape from his crushed vehicle and he perished at the scene.
May was hospitalized with unspecified injuries after the fatal collision, but has since been arrested on suspicion of murder and driving under the influence and causing great bodily injury or death. Online jail records indicate he remains in custody at the Cois Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta where he is being held without bail.
CHP is investigating the cause of yesterday’s deadly crash and their investigation is ongoing.
This is a developing story that will be updated as new information becomes available.
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Trevor Montgomery, 49, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS).
Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County-based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.
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 30 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 18 grandchildren.