30 year sentence for Moreno Valley woman who killed Beaumont men in 2019 Hemet crash

HEMET, Calif. — Already on felony probation for an earlier 2016 DUI conviction, a Moreno Valley woman who admitted she was drunk when she plowed into the back of another vehicle–killing two Beaumont men, was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison on Thursday, July 8. The parolee was traveling in excess of 100 mph at the time of the collision, and had been seen weaving in and out of traffic and driving into the oncoming lanes of travel just before the crash, Hemet PD reported at the time.

The woman, 28-year-old, Faalele Rosemarie Patea, was arrested at the scene the night of the May 1, 2019 crash and was booked into jail on numerous charges related to the collision. After both occupants of the vehicle she smashed into passed away, numerous other charges were added, including two counts of first degree murder, two counts of DUI – gross vehicular manslaughter, two counts of felony DUI causing great bodily injury, inflicting great bodily injury, three felony prior prison enhancements, violation of parole, and driving on a suspended license.

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During their investigation the night of the 2019 collision, Hemet PD interviewed numerous witnesses who described seeing Patea passing other vehicles on the wrong side of the Florida Avenue into oncoming traffic, weaving in and out of lanes of travel, and driving at an excessively high rate of speed.

Officers also learned the victims, Joshua Serquina and Kyle Towai, both 22 and from Beaumont, were in a Honda Civic that was slowing for a red light on Florida Avenue at Warren Road shortly after 9 p.m.

“Evidence at the scene and witness statements indicate that Patea was speeding, traveling over 100 miles per hour” when she smashed into the Honda from behind,” Hemet PD reported at the time of the fatal DUI crash.

Officers said Patea never slowed, rear-ending the Honda at high-speed. The impact thrust the Honda into another vehicle, a black Mercedes-Benz, whose driver was not injured in the crash.

Both of the Patea’s victims were left critically injured and trapped inside their Honda, while Patea was found uninjured and walking around her demolished silver, 2013 Volkswagen Jetta. Both vehicles sustained heavy damage and were left barely recognizable by the deadly, high-speed impact.

SEE ORIGINAL RELATED STORY: Second Beaumont victim dies after fatal Hemet DUI wreck

As Patea was seen performing a series of field sobriety tests in front of friends and family, as well as a clearly angry and frustrated crowd at the location of the crash, she was filmed yelling to those who know her, “If I fail this, y’all are going to have to bail me out!” Video of her arrest, which was shared live to social media via Facebook’s Hemet News, can be viewed in its entirety below.

After she had failed her sobriety tests and was being placed into handcuffs, Patea was heard crying inconsolably and filmed shouting to her family, “Just so you know, when I get out I’m never leaving the house again…I’m never leaving the house again.”

One woman in the nearby crowd yelled back, “I’ve been trying to tell you to stay home Bae,” while another man in the crowd said disgustedly, “You shouldn’t have left the house to begin with,” as he shook his head in anger and walked away.

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Paramedics, who were forced to perform a cut and rescue operation to free the two critically injured occupants from the Honda, were observed at the scene providing CPR and other life-saving measures to both men, before the two victims were both airlifted to Riverside University Health System’s trauma center in Moreno Valley.

Serquina died within hours the collision, while Towai reportedly survived on life support for two days before he too passed away from his extensive injuries.

Riverside County Superior Court records indicate Patea was on parole after a June, 2016 incident where she was charged with assault with a deadly weapon, domestic violence, and three counts of willful cruelty and harm to a child. She pleaded guilty to a single count of domestic violence two months later.

Patea, who turned 28 on the day of her sentencing, appeared in Riverside County Superior Court in Banning, where she was sentenced to 15 years to life for each of the two second-degree murder counts she pleaded guilty to in June. Her guilty plea and sentencing were part of an agreement with the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, according to John Hall, a spokesman for the DA’s Office.

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Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 50, 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.

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