Mother dead, 2 young children and father injured, after car plunges more than 100 feet down Anza embankment

ANZA, Calif., — A San Diego mother was killed and her husband and two young children were injured in a rollover accident in Anza that sent their vehicle plummeting more than 100 feet down a steep and rocky embankment yesterday afternoon, Friday, Jan. 28.

The deadly crash, which sent the three surviving victims – including a boy and girl, ages 6 and 2 – to the hospital, happened on CA-371, west of Burnt Valley Road, according to officials.


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California Highway Patrol, Cal Fire – Riverside, and other emergency personnel were dispatched to the scene around 1:37 p.m. after receiving multiple calls reporting that a vehicle had overturned down the embankment before coming to rest upside down on its roof, Cal Fire has since reported.

Officials began arriving within fifteen minutes and found a sedan about 100 feet down an embankment. Several witnesses and good Samaritans who had already made their way down the embankment and were at the car’s side were seen helping to pull the three surviving victims from the overturned and wrecked sedan, according to CHP.

Both the children and father suffered moderate injuries and paramedics immediately began evaluating and treating their injuries, while firefighters worked to extricate the fourth person from the vehicle.

That victim, the mother, had suffered severe trauma and despite life-saving efforts she succumbed to her injuries and passed away at the scene.

The Riverside County Sheriff-Coroner’s Office has since identified Leslie Schotz, 34, of San Diego, as the woman killed in the crash. A Coroner’s release indicated she was pronounced deceased at 2:01 p.m.

Although two Mercy Air Ambulances were launched to the area to airlift the two injured children, the father refused to allow them to go airborne, and all three were ultimately transported by ground ambulances to a Temecula-area trauma center, according to CHP.


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Although the highway remained open during the investigation and subsequent vehicle recovery, area residents reported some delays in their travel times due to traffic becoming congested by the numerous emergency vehicles that responded to the scene.

CHP’s accident investigation is active and ongoing, and no further details as to what may have caused the fatal accident have been released.

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.