Hemet bicyclist, 74, killed after veering in front of motorist in San Jacinto

SAN JACINTO, Calif., — Authorities say an elderly bicyclist was killed when he veered his bike into oncoming traffic and was struck by a passing motorist in San Jacinto early Saturday evening, March 26.

The deadly collision occurred on Lake Park Drive south of Soboba Road and forced the hours-long closure of Lake Park Drive, according to officials.


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Deputies from the San Jacinto Sheriff’s Station, along with Cal Fire – Riverside and other emergency personnel, were dispatched to the scene around 6:30 p.m. after receiving reports of a major injury traffic collision involving a bicyclist, Riverside Sheriff’s Sergeant Dawn Blair has since reported.

When officials arrived at the scene, they located a man down in the roadway with major traumatic injuries, who Blair described as “alive, but unresponsive”.

The critically injured bicyclist was rushed to Riverside University Health System Medical Center in Moreno Valley where despite continued lifesaving efforts he succumbed to his injuries and passed away several hours later.

The Riverside County Sheriff – Coroner’s Office has since identified Pedro Garcia, 74, of Hemet, as the bicyclist killed in the collision. A Coroner’s release indicated he was pronounced deceased at 11:13 p.m.

The driver who struck the victim and had remained at the scene after calling 911 was uninjured and was fully cooperative with the subsequent investigation, according to Blair.

Based on the circumstances, members of the San Jacinto Station’s Traffic Collision Reconstruction Team responded to the scene and assumed the investigation.

Their investigation revealed Garcia was riding a bicycle in the number two lane of southbound Lake Park Drive as the driver of a black Honda was traveling within the number one lane in the same direction on Lake Park Drive.

“As the Honda passed the bicyclist, the bicyclist veered into the number one lane, colliding into the passenger side of the Honda, causing the subject to fall off the bicycle,” Blair continued, adding, “The driver of the Honda stopped immediately to render aid to the bicyclist and contact law enforcement.”

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Alcohol and/or drug intoxication have not yet been ruled out as possible contributing factors in the fatal collision and the San Jacinto Station’s investigation is ongoing.

Anyone who witnessed the traffic collision or has any information about this incident is encouraged to call Deputy Ray Cortez of the San Jacinto Sheriff’s Station at (951) 654-2702 or the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department at (951) 776-1099. Callers can refer to incident file number I220850087 and can remain anonymous.

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). Both are stringer organizations, providing breaking news coverage and community interest stories 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.