Driver booked for murder after fatal DUI crash south of Corona
TEMESCAL VALLEY, Calif., — Authorities say a motorist was killed in a two-vehicle DUI collision in the unincorporated Temescal Valley area south of Corona early Saturday morning, Feb. 12.
The driver who reportedly caused the fatal crash, which happened on the northbound I-15 at the Weirick Road offramp, was later arrested for murder and DUI-related charges.
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California Highway Patrol – Riverside officers and other emergency personnel were dispatched to the scene shortly after 3 a.m. after receiving reports of a two-vehicle traffic collision, CHP Officer Juan Quintero later said of the incident and arrest.
911 callers reported one of the involved drivers was trapped and unconscious in their wrecked vehicle and had no pulse.
When officials arrived at the scene, they located a Honda CRV and Mercedes-Benz E-350 down an embankment adjacent the Weirick offramp.
While firefighters began a cut and rescue operation to free the Honda’s driver, paramedics began life-saving efforts. However, despite their efforts, the driver succumbed to their injuries and passed away at the scene.
The victim’s name has not been released, pending notification of their family.
During their subsequent investigation, officers learned both vehicles were traveling northbound on I-15 approaching the Weirick Road off-ramp moments before the fatal collision.
Evidence at the scene suggested that the Mercedes driver had swerved across the highway, possibly in an attempt to make the Weirick Road exit and struck the left rear side of the Honda. The impact caused both vehicles to careen off the highway, down the embankment, and across the offramp lanes, according to Quintero.
The driver of the Mercedes, 29-year-old Jorge Anival Gomez Augustin, was determined to be under the influence and was arrested at the scene.
He was later transported to the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside where he was booked on suspicion of murder and DUI resulting in death.
Online jail records indicate he remains in custody, where he is being held without bail.
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CHP’s investigation is ongoing and anyone who may have witnessed the collision is encouraged to contact Officer I. Mejia of the California Highway Patrol’s Accident Investigation Unit at (951) 637-8000.
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.