DUI alleged after San Jacinto head-on crash that seriously injured other driver

SAN JACINTO, Calif., — A two-vehicle head-on collision in San Jacinto led to the arrest of a suspected drunk driver and another driver being seriously injured and hospitalized late last night, Sunday, March 6.

Although the crash, which happened on N. State Street, south of W. Community College Way, forced the hours-long closure of State Street, no significant delays in travel times were reported as a result of the crash and subsequent investigation and cleanup.


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Deputies from the San Jacinto Sheriff’s Station, along with Cal Fire – Riverside, AMR, and other emergency personnel, were dispatched to the scene shortly before midnight after receiving reports of a head-on crash with entrapment.

When officials arrived, they found two involved vehicles, described as a red Toyota Prius hatchback and dark grey Honda Civic coupe blocking the northbound lanes of travel. Both vehicles had sustained major front-end damage and firefighters confirmed finding one victim trapped and injured inside the Toyota.

Firefighters work to extricate a trapped and injured victim after his vehicle was struck head-on by a suspected drunk driver who was later arrested for DUI and providing false information to a peace officer. Ricardo Ruelas / Hemet News photos

While deputies interviewed the driver of the Honda who reportedly caused the collision, firefighters performed a cut and rescue operation to free the injured victim of the Toyota.

The driver and sole occupant of the Toyota was eventually pulled from his wrecked vehicle, at which time he was transported to Riverside University Health System in Moreno Valley for further treatment of serious, but unspecified, injuries.

Evidence at the scene suggested the grey Honda was traveling southbound on N. State Street, when the driver may have lost control of their vehicle. As the vehicle careened across the roadway it jumped the center median and smashed head-on into the oncoming Toyota.

Based on their investigation, deputies arrested 38-year-old Maria Mercedes Arcemiranda.

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She was transported to an area hospital for treatment of minor injuries and later booked into the Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility in Banning on suspicion of DUI and providing false information to a peace officer.

Online jail records indicate she was released with a citation to appear in court on June 6 within hours of being booked.

Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 51, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and operates Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS), which act as stringer-news providers for other mainstream media organizations throughout the two regions they serve.

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.


  • DUI accidents like this are so avoidable. Hopefully this person hurt in the wreck will fully recover.

    This DUI driver will likely have to fightDUIcharges that are upgraded to a felony offense for causing serious injury to another person. The new California DUI laws passed this year are more strict than ever with consequences.

  • That is so sad. I hope the driver of the Prius is ok. Suspected DUI with injury how was she released within hours…. especially after giving false ID. What is going on in this world. I hope they do a follow up to let us know if the driver of the Prius is okay. Prayers to that person that they will be okay.

  • Catch and Release should only be done in fishing, not in the judicial procedures. Covid restrictions have ended, so it’s time to end it for jail.