14-year-old unlicensed driver runs stop sign, kills Hesperia man, 59

HESPERIA, Calif., — A 59-year-old local man was killed in a three-vehicle collision that officials say happened when a 14-year-old, unlicensed driver failed to stop at a Hesperia two-way stop sign in a residential neighborhood Thursday morning, July 22.

The deadly crash happened at the intersection of Choiceana Avenue and Yucca Street, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department has since reported.

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Emergency personnel were alerted to the collision around 7 a.m. after receiving reports of a three-vehicle accident with at least one victim trapped.

When officials arrived they found three heavily-damaged vehicles, since described as a dark-colored SUV, 2008 Honda Civic, and 2020 Kia Sportage.

All three wrecked vehicles were near the middle of the intersection, with vehicle parts and debris scattered throughout the roadway.

Officials are seen working at the location of a fatal three-vehicle crash in a residential Hesperia neighborhood on Thursday morning. Hugo C. Valdez/Victor Valley News Group photo

San Bernardino County firefighters confirmed finding three victims, with the driver of the Kia trapped and critically injured inside his vehicle.

Using heavy-duty extrication tools, firefighters immediately began a cut and rescue operation to free him. Rescuers eventually managed to pull the victim from the mangled wreckage of his vehicle, at which time he was rushed by ground ambulance to Desert Valley Hospital for further treatment of life-threatening injuries.

Despite life-saving efforts, the victim succumbed to his injuries and passed away at the hospital.

The San Bernardino County Coroner’s Office has since identified Craig Sale, 59, of Hesperia, as the man killed in the collision. A Coroner’s release indicated he was pronounced deceased by hospital staff at 7:44 a.m.

Based on the circumstances, deputies assigned to the Hesperia Sheriff Station’s Major Accident Investigation Team (M.A.I.T.) responded to the scene and assumed the investigation.

Officials say Thursday’s fatal accident happened when an unlicensed, 14-year-old driver failed to stop for a posted two-way stop at Choiceana Avenue and Yucca Street. Hugo C. Valdez/Victor Valley News Group photo

Their initial on-scene investigation revealed that an unlicensed, 14-year-old boy was unlawfully driving a 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe west on Yucca Street approaching Choiceana Avenue just before the deadly crash, SBSO has since said of th fatal collision.

Although officials did not specify how fast the teen was traveling, evidence at the scene indicated he was possibly traveling at high-speed when the collision occurred; despite the residential neighborhood’s post speed limit of 25 mph.

When the young driver, whose name has not been released due to his age, failed to stop for the two-way posted stop sign at the intersection he was broadsided by the Honda being driven by a 55-year-old man headed northbound on Choiceana Avenue and the Kia being driven southbound on Choiceana Avenue by the deceased victim.

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Both the teen and other surviving driver suffered minor injuries, according to SBSO Spokesman Deputy Nathan Campos; who provided no information as to why the underage boy was driving, whether his parents were aware he was driving, or if any charges are expected to come from their investigation.

While officials worked at the scene they called for the closure of the intersection, but the roadway has since been reopened.



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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