Fleeing from officers with pallets of stolen beer, pair killed after crashing into warehouse

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, Calif., — Authorities say a man and woman were killed after crashing into an Ontario warehouse while fleeing from Fontana police officers early Wednesday morning, Dec. 29.

Officers were chasing the pair after they were caught stealing pallets of beer from a cargo train stopped in Fontana, according to officials.


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City of Fontana police officers were dispatched to the area of the 10 Freeway near Calabash and Slover avenues around 4:20 a.m. after a train conductor called 911 to report a maroon and silver Chevrolet Astro minivan parked along the railroad tracks, Fontana Police spokesman Officer Daniel Romero has since said of the deadly collision and ongoing investigation.

When an officer arrived in the area to check the welfare of any occupants from the van, they learned that a man and woman were in the process of stealing pallets of beer from a cargo train car in the area, said Romero.

Officers work at the scene of a double-fatal collision that ended a theft-related pursuit that began in Fontana and ended in Ontario Wednesday morning. CBS2 News / KCAL9 News photos

Before they could be stopped, the pair – whose identities have not yet been released – fled west on Slover Avenue in their beer pallet-ladened vehicle into the neighboring city of Ontario.

As the alleged thieves continued at high speed southbound through the “T” intersection of S. Carnegie Avenue and East Jurupa Street they lost control of the vehicle in an industrial complex and crashed into a Target Distribution Center warehouse.

Upon finding the crash, pursuing officers summoned Ontario Fire Department personnel, who responded to the scene and pronounced both occupants dead at the scene, Romero continued.

During their subsequent investigation officers located several pallets of beer the pair had stolen from the stopped train inside the van.

The Union Pacific Railroad – whose officials have said the railroad has been experiencing a recent increase in thefts from their cargo trains – is investigating the cargo theft, while Ontario Police Department is investigating the deadly crash and Fontana PD is reviewing the pursuit aspect of the deadly incident.

All three investigations remain active and 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.