Wrong way driving, speeding suspected in fatal Riverside crash

UPDATED: Tuesday, July 13, 9:55 a.m., With Coroner’s release of information.

RIVERSIDE, Calif., — Fire officials this morning reported that wrong way driving and speeding are suspected in a deadly, head-on crash that killed one person and seriously injured another early this morning, Monday, July 12. The deadly crash happened in the 4400 block of Tyler Street, between California and Wells avenues.


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City of Riverside police and fire personnel were dispatched to the scene around 1:15 a.m., after receiving reports of a two-vehicle, major-injury traffic collision with possible entrapment, Riverside Fire Department Battalion Chief Garrett Coryell reported from the still-active scene this morning.

When fire and rescue officials arrived they found two wrecked vehicles, described as a black 2004 Lexus sedan and gray 2011 Nissan Sentra, with vehicle parts and debris scattered throughout the roadway.

Fire officials say wrong way driving is suspected in a head-on Riverside crash that left both drivers trapped inside the mangled wreckages of their cars early this morning. One of the drivers passed away at the scene while the other was later transported to an area hospital with serious injuries. Johnny Lopez/Lone Wolf Media-OnScene TV photo

Both vehicles sustained major damage and firefighters confirmed that both seriously injured drivers were trapped and required extrication from their wrecked cars.

While performing a cut and rescue operation, one of the victims succumbed to their injuries and passed away at the scene. Riverside County Sheriff-Coroner officials have since identified Cruz Carrasco, 52, of Anaheim, as the victim killed in the collision. A coroner’s release indicated he was pronounced deceased at 1:30 a.m.

After being cut free from the second vehicle, that driver was transported to a local area hospital by ground ambulance in serious condition, with two firefighting paramedics on board assisting with life-saving efforts.

Based on the circumstances, members of Riverside PD’s Major Traffic Investigation Team responded to the scene and assumed the investigation.

As crews worked to clear the wrecked vehicles from location Coryell reported, “It looks like we had a possible wrong way driver.”

RPD later reported that the driver of the Lexus, a 28-year-old Riverside resident whose name has not been released, “was traveling northbound on Tyler Street at California Avenue when, for unknown reasons, the driver lost control of the vehicle. The Lexus crossed over the raised center median and into the southbound lanes where it collided head on with the Nissan.”

Officials have not yet determined if alcohol and/or drug intoxication were contributing factors in the fatal collision, and their investigation is ongoing.

While officials worked at the scene, Tyler Street was temporarily closed between California and Wells avenues for several hours, but the roadway has since reopened.

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

Click any image to open full-size gallery.

Johny Lopez/Lone Wolf Media-OnScene TV photos above, video below.

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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