Elderly Moreno Valley man fatally struck by tow truck

MORENO VALLEY, Calif., — Authorities say an elderly man was killed after he was struck by a tow truck whose driver was reportedly blinded by glare from the rising sun in Moreno Valley Monday morning, Oct. 11.

The victim was crossing the road at a location without designated crosswalks and away from controlled intersections when the fatal accident occurred in the 21500 block of Box Springs Road, just east of Clark Street.


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Deputies from the Moreno Valley Sheriff’s Station, along with Cal Fire-Riverside and other emergency personnel, were dispatched to the scene around 7:22 a.m. after receiving reports of a major-injury traffic collision involving a pedestrian and tow truck, Riverside Sheriff’s Sergeant Robert Grmusha later said of the deadly accident.

When officials arrived they found a man down in the roadway suffering from severe, life-threatening injuries after being struck by a tow truck.

The victim was rushed to Riverside University Health System Medical Center in Moreno Valley where, despite life-saving efforts, he later succumbed to his injuries and passed away.

The Riverside County Sheriff-Coroner’s Office has since identified Primitivo Martinez, 69, of Moreno Valley, as the man killed in the collision. A Coroner’s release indicated he was pronounced deceased at 8:02 a.m.

Members of the Moreno Valley Sheriff’s Station Traffic Collision Reconstruction Team responded to the scene and assumed the investigation.

Their preliminary investigation revealed the tow truck was turning left onto eastbound Box Springs Road from the Vista Springs Apartments, just as Martinez was crossing the roadway northbound from the south curbline.

“As the tow truck continued the turn onto eastbound Box Springs Road, the driver’s vision was reported to have been obstructed by sunlight, resulting in the tow truck colliding with the pedestrian, who was walking or standing in the middle of the roadway,” Grmusha explained; adding, “At this time, intoxication does not appear to be a factor in this traffic collision.”

Due to “extensive cleanup” required, a temporary, but long-term closure of Box Springs Road, from Clark Street to Day Street, was established, according to the Sergeant; who did not specify when or if the roadway had been reopened.

The Sheriff’s investigation is continuing.

Anyone with information about this investigation is encouraged to call Deputy Jason Slover of the Moreno Valley Sheriff’s Station at (951) 486-6889 or the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department at (951) 776-1099. Callers can refer to incident file number MV212840068 and can remain anonymous. Persons who wish to report criminal activity and wish to remain anonymous can call crime stoppers at 800-78-CRIME (800-782-7463) or 800-47-DRUGS (800-473-7847).

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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