UPDATE: Search for Indio hit and run driver who critically injured pair changing flat tire ongoing
UPDATED: Wednesday, July 21, 10:30 a.m., With person of interest named, along with other additional details.
Originally Published: Monday, July 19, 7:36 p.m.
INDIO, Calif., — Authorities are continuing to search for the driver of a pickup truck who fled the scene after striking two people who were in the process of changing a flat tire in Indio late Friday evening, July 16. The hit and run collision, which left both victims in critical condition, happened on Monroe Street, north of Avenue 51.
While stopping short of naming him a suspect, officials have identified the registered owner of the vehicle, Julio Infante, 47, of Indio, as a person of interest in their hit and run investigation. Despite searching for him, he has not ben located and detectives have asked for the public’s help in locating him.
Since this collision, a second hit and run accident left another Indio driver in critical condition, after a driver fled the scene of a crash that happened just two-and-a-half miles away on Avenue 48 near Jackson Street.
LEADING THE RCNS HEADLINES:
City of Indio police and fire personnel were dispatched to the scene shortly before midnight after receiving reports of a hit and run involving two pedestrians, Indio PD has since reported.
When officials arrived they found two victims down in the roadway with major injuries. They were rushed to Desert Regional Medical Center, where they remain in critical condition.
Evidence at the scene indicated a Dodge Ram hit two victims and their vehicle while they were changing a flat tire in Indio on Friday night. The victims were critically injured and remain hospitalized, according to officials. Indio PD photos
Officers found a heavily-damaged, silver Dodge Ram work truck with a utility rack, that appeared to have side-swiped the victim’s nearby vehicle. The vehicle was abandoned and officers learned the suspect, an adult male, had fled the scene on foot prior to their arrival. He was last seen walking on Monroe Street toward the Polo Grounds, according to officials.
During their subsequent investigation, officers identified Infante as the registered owner of the vehicle and attempted to locate him, without success.
“(He) is considered a person of interest,” said officials, who added their investigation – and search – are ongoing.
SEE OTHER RECENT RCNS HEADLINE NEWS:
Anyone with information regarding this investigation or who knows Infante’s whereabouts is urged to contact Indio Police detectives at (760) 391-4051. Callers can refer to incident file number 2107I-2597 and can remain anonymous.
This is a developing story that will be updated as new information becomes available.
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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.