UPDATE: DUI suspected in fatal Lake Elsinore collision involving deputy who suffered major injuries

UPDATED: Wednesday, Dec. 22, 10:36 a.m.

See Original Story below.

LAKE ELSINORE, Calif., — Responding to a request for further information regarding a fatal traffic collision involving a deputy’s patrol vehicle and passenger sedan earlier this week, California Highway Patrol today released additional details regarding the early morning accident. Driving under the influence on the part of the victim killed in the collision is suspected as a contributing cause of the crash, the full cause of which remains under investigation.

CHP had previously told RCNS the accident, which occurred around 1:50 a.m. Monday, Dec. 20 and killed a 21-year-old Menifee man, happened near the intersection of Hwy. 74/Riverside Drive and Lake Crest Drive and led to an hours-long Sig-Alert.


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According to CHP Officer Mike Lassig, just before the collision, the involved deputy was traveling eastbound on Riverside Drive approaching La Cresta drive at around 40 mph. At the same time, a 2014 Ford Focus being driven by Christian Bacilio was traveling westbound toward the same intersection at the same speed.

“For reasons which are under investigation, (Bacilio) allowed his vehicle to cross over towards the eastbound traffic lane directly towards (the deputy’s marked black and white patrol vehicle),” Lassig explained; adding that the deputy was unable to avoid the oncoming Ford Focus and the two vehicles collided head-on.

A deputy’s patrol vehicle and a 2014 Ford Focus both sustained major front-end damage after a suspected DUI crash that killed the Focus’s driver and seriously injured the deputy and passenger from the Focus. Rivco News photos

Bacilio’s passenger, a 21-year-old Lake Elsinore woman whose name was not released, sustained major injuries in the collision. She was transported to Inland Valley Medical Center for further treatment.

The deputy, who was also injured in the collision, was transported to Inland Valley Medical Center with injuries Lassig described as major; but Riverside Sheriff’s Sergeant Deanna Pecoraro has since said the deputy is “out of the hospital, back home and in good spirits.”

Lassig went on to report that alcohol intoxication is suspected to be a contributing factor on the part of the deceased driver in this traffic collision, which remains under investigation by CHP – Temecula.

“The California Highway Patrol would like to remind everyone to always designate a sober driver. Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or prescription medication can be fatal,” said Lassig.

Original Story: Lake Elsinore collision with Sheriff’s patrol vehicle leaves Menifee man, 21, dead

LAKE ELSINORE, Calif., — Although few details have been released, officials today confirmed to RCNS that a Menifee man was killed in an early morning collision with a Lake Elsinore Sheriff’s patrol vehicle Monday, Dec. 20.

The fatal accident happened near the intersection of Hwy. 74/Riverside Drive and Lake Crest Drive and led to an hours-long Sig-Alert, according to California Highway Patrol.

Deputies from the Lake Elsinore Sheriff’s Station, CHP – Temecula, Cal Fire – Riverside, AMR, and other emergency personnel were dispatched to the scene around 1:50 a.m., according to CHP.

CHP today confirmed to RCNS that a Riverside County sheriff’s deputy was involved in a fatal collision that left a 21-year-old Menifee man dead. Rivco News photos

When officials arrived, they found two involved vehicles, including a black 2014 Ford Focus and a marked, black and white sheriff’s patrol vehicle. Both vehicles sustained major, front-end and driver’s side damage in the collision.

Early reports that a third vehicle was possibly involved could not immediately be confirmed, and questions directed to the Sheriff’s Department were redirected to CHP, whose officers are investigating the deadly collision.

The Riverside County Sheriff-Coroner’s Office has since identified Christian Bacilio, 21, of Menifee, as the man killed in the crash. A Coroner’s release indicated Bacilio was pronounced deceased at the scene within minutes of the collision and his time of death was listed as 2 a.m.

Contacted today for further information regarding the crash, CHP Officer Mike Lassig confirmed to RCNS that the fatal accident involved a Sheriff’s patrol vehicle and that the collision was being investigated by CHP. He also said no information or details as to what may have led to the crash were prepared to be released yet, but a detailed press release regarding the collision would be issued tomorrow.


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

This is a developing story that will be updated as new information becomes available.

Contact the writer: [email protected]

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.