Patrol deputy discovers victim’s body after deadly Moreno Valley hit and run – Suspect remains sought

MORENO VALLEY, Calif., — Authorities are continuing to search for a driver who fled the scene of a collision that killed a local man early Saturday morning, Feb. 12. The victim’s lifeless body was discovered by a sheriff’s deputy conducting routine patrol, according to officials.

Investigators are now asking for the public’s help identifying and locating the driver who fled the crash, which happened on Sunnymead Boulevard east of Heacock Street.


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A deputy from the Moreno Valley Sheriff’s Station was patrolling in the area of Sunnymead Boulevard and Heacock Street shortly before 3 a.m. when he spotted a pedestrian down in the roadway, Riverside Sheriff’s Sergeant Chad Craig later said of the Sheriff’s ongoing investigation.

After requesting additional assistance and medical personnel to the scene, the deputy found the pedestrian had suffered major injuries and was unresponsive. Upon closer evaluation, responding deputies determined the man had already succumbed to his injuries and passed away.

The Riverside County Sheriff – Coroner’s Office has since identified Thomas Reese, 59, of Moreno Valley, as the man killed in the collision. A Coroner’s release indicated he was pronounced deceased at the scene at 2:59 a.m.

Based on the circumstances, members of the Moreno Valley Station’s Traffic Collision Reconstruction Team responded to the location and assumed the investigation.

Their investigation revealed the pedestrian was crossing Sunnymead Boulevard when an unknown vehicle traveling westbound struck him and then fled the scene, according to Craig; who said, “It is unknown at this time if alcohol or drugs were a factor in the collision.”

While officials worked at the scene and collected evidence to the hit and run they called for the temporary closure of Sunnymead Boulevard, between Heacock Street and Back Way, but the roadway has since reopened.

This investigation is ongoing and anyone with information about this incident, the vehicle, or identity of the driver is encouraged to call Deputy Andrew Galbreath of the Moreno Valley Sheriff’s Station at (951) 486-6700 or the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department at (951) 776-1099. Callers can refer to incident file number MV220430023 and can remain anonymous. Tipsters can also leave anonymous information on the Sheriff’s Crime Tips Online Form.

Persons who wish to report criminal activity and wish to remain anonymous can call crime stoppers at 800-78-CRIME (800-782-7463) or 800-47-DRUGS (800-473-7847). 

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.