Local woman, 22, ID’d after deadly head-on wreck in Temecula

TEMECULA, Calif., — Authorities say one person was killed and two others were hospitalized after a two-vehicle head-on collision in an unincorporated area west of Temecula late Monday morning, Nov. 15.  

The fatal crash happened in the 26000 block of Rancho California Road, just west of Via Vueltas, according to Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department.


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California Highway Patrol, Cal Fire, and other emergency personnel who were dispatched to the scene around 11:30 a.m. found a wrecked SUV and passenger vehicle and began treating three injured occupants.

Despite life-saving measures, one of the victims succumbed to her injuries and passed away at the scene.

The Riverside County Sheriff-Coroner’s Office has since identified Mary Mercado, 22, of Temecula, as the victim killed in the crash. A Coroner’s release indicated she was pronounced deceased by paramedics at 11:45 a.m.

Two other people were hospitalized after the crash with what Cal Fire later described as non-life-threatening injuries.

CHP’s investigation is ongoing and no further details have been released.

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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.