More details come to light after SUV soars off 91-15 freeway interchange killing one, injuring 3 others
UPDATED: Wednesday, Nov. 3, 10:32 a.m., With Coroner’s release of victim’s name, as well as the family’s GoFundMe information and other details from the victim’s family.
Originally Published: Saturday, Oct. 30, 9:36 a.m.
CORONA, Calif., — Although authorities are continuing to investigate the cause of a fatal Corona crash that killed a local motorist and seriously injured several passengers, family members have shared additional details – including that the victim and his family were headed to his daughter’s birthday party when the deadly accident occurred Friday afternoon, Oct. 29.
Officials had previously reported that the crash involved an SUV that soared off the freeway interchange and landed on a roadway below. The SUV overturned multiple times as it rolled down the steep embankment, before smashing into a light pole and through a guardrail.
The fatal rollover collision with multiple ejections began on the eastbound SR-91 to I-15 transition/connector road when the SUV was possibly cut off by another vehicle, and ended on Cresta Road below, east of E. Parkridge Avenue, according to officials and family members.
LEADING THE RCNS HEADLINES:
California Highway Patrol and Corona Police Department, along with Corona Fire Department, AMR and other emergency personnel, were dispatched to the scene around 4:30 p.m., after receiving reports of a rollover accident with multiple ejections, CHP and Corona PD have since reported.
When officials arrived they found a dark colored SUV partially blocking Cresta Road. The heavily damaged SUV appeared to have overturned multiple times and the body of the driver was found a considerable distance away from the wrecked vehicle, within the lanes of travel of the roadway.
Several passengers from the vehicle were rushed to area hospitals with injuries since described as moderate to major, and at least two of the victims remain in critical condition, according to family members.
A local news chopper captured the scene of Friday’s horrific crash that left a local man, Alex Bonilla, dead at the scene. He was reportedly traveling to a birthday party with family members, including his 18-year-old daughter who was celebrating her birthday, when their vehicle was possibly cut off while transitioning from the 91 freeway to Interstate 15. CBS2 News image
Witnesses and friends have since said that the deceased driver was not the only victim ejected in the accident, and have claimed the deadly crash was triggered by another vehicle that cut the SUV off while making the transition from the 91 Freeway to Interstate 15.
The Riverside County Coroner-Sheriff’s Office has since identified Alex Bonilla, 39, of Corona, as the man killed in the accident. A coroner’s release indicated he was pronounced deceased at 4:38 p.m.
He leaves behind fiancé Pearl Marquez, 36, twin daughters Jayleen & Jazmine, 5, daughter Angel, 18, son Christian, 9, daughter Faith, 21, and many others who loved him dearly.
In a GoFundMe fundraiser, family members have said that Bonilla, a well known tow truck driver who worked for Circle City Towing in Corona “and was the face of the business”, was headed out for a fun evening and dinner with his fiancé to celebrate Angel’s 18th birthday. Angel’s boyfriend, Alex Garcia, 18, was traveling with them in Bonilla’s SUV when the deadly accident happened.
Pictured with fiancé Pearl Marquez, Alex Bonilla, 39, of Corona, was killed when his SUV soared off the 91-15 interchange and was ejected from his vehicle as it overturned multiple times down the steep embankment. Bonilla family photo/GoFundMe
“He was cut off while on the 91 to 15 transition ramp, causing his SUV to fly off the side of the freeway, rolling over several times and ejecting the occupants,” family members explained in the fundraiser. “His girlfriend, stepdaughter, and her boyfriend were passengers in the car and seriously injured but are expected to survive.”
The fundraiser went on to explain that Angel suffered major head trauma and broken bones. She is in intensive care, “and has a long recovery ahead of her as she had to have multiple surgeries & remains in critical condition.”
“Alex Garcia has had surgery & recovering but remains in critical condition,” they continued; adding “Pearl is at a hospital in OC and is recovering.”
Although the accident happened within the city of Corona, CHP is handling the investigation because the crash began on the freeway interchange. Their investigation is active and ongoing and no further details have been released.
Contact the writer: email@example.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.