CHP: Traveling more than 100 mph on I-15 and not wearing seatbelts, Wildomar men fatally ejected in rollover collision

WILDOMAR, Calif., — Authorities say a pair of local men were killed in a high-speed rollover collision with another vehicle while traveling on Interstate 15 in Wildomar early Saturday morning. Neither of the victims were wearing their seatbelts at the time of the collision, according to CHP.

This morning’s deadly accident along with several other recent Riverside County fatal crashes involving unrestrained vehicle occupants, which CHP and safety advocates say are completely avoidable and preventable, are helping to bring attention and awareness to motorists regarding the importance of wearing seatbelts while driving on area roadways. 

One of the recent crashes involving unrestrained drivers and occupants led to the death of an Indio mother and toddler, who were both fatally ejected from their vehicle when it was involved in a solo-vehicle rollover crash in Thousand Palms last Tuesday. Another solo-vehicle rollover crash just hours later resulted in multiple ejections with serious injuries when a small two-door vehicle crammed with six occupants careened off Hwy 79 in Lamb Canyon and plummeted down a steep and rocky embankment.


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California Highway Patrol – Temecula, Cal Fire – Riverside, and other emergency personnel were dispatched to the northbound I-15, south of the Clinton Keith Road offramp shortly before 2 a.m. after receiving reports of a two-vehicle rollover traffic collision, CHP Officer Mike Lassig.

When officials arrived they located two involved vehicles, described as a Mercedez-Benz and Ford Escape, with several witnesses and good Samaritans already stopped at the scene attempting to provide medical aid to two men ejected from the Mercedes and two others from the second vehicle.

Several recent fatal and serious injury accidents, each involving multiple ejections, are helping to highlight the need for motorists and passengers to wear seatbelts at all times while driving. KESQ photo 1, Cal Fire – Riverside photo 2

Paramedics determined both men ejected from the Mercedes had already succumbed to their injuries and passed away at the scene, while the driver of the Ford, a 26-year-old Santa Ana man, was treated for minor injuries and the Ford’s passenger was uninjured.

The Riverside County Sheriff-Coroner’s Office has since identified Isaac Barrera, 24, and Eliyu Arellano, 34, both of Wildomar, as the men killed in the collision. A Coroner’s release indicated both men were pronounced deceased at 2:10 a.m.

During their subsequent investigation, CHP determined the Mercedes-Benz had been traveling northbound on I-15 in excess of 100 mph when the driver made an unsafe lane change and sideswiped the Ford Escape, Lassig explained.

The initial impact caused the Mercedes to lose control and careen into a center divider at which time it overturned numerous times ejecting both occupants, according to Lassig, who said neither of the ejected victims were wearing their seatbelts at the time of the crash.


CHP: Mother, 27, and child, 3, were not wearing seatbelts when fatally ejected in Thousand Palms rollover crash

Six injured after vehicle careens off Hwy 79 while traveling through Lamb Canyon

Kylie Scudder of Wildomar, who witnessed the collision and stopped to try and render aid to the victims, later described on social media the shock and horror she felt upon reaching the two men ejected from the speeding vehicle.

“(The Mercedes-Benz) had to have been going about 110+ mph on the freeway when they clipped another vehicle,” Scudder explained. 

“I really tried to help them but there was absolutely nothing I could’ve done,” she went on to say, adding, “I do not want to explain what I saw, but just know that (their deaths) had to be instant and they must’ve felt no pain.”

CHP has not yet ruled out alcohol and/or drug intoxication as possible contributing factors in this collision and their investigation is continuing.

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.