One dead and one injured after reckless driving leads to fatal Ramona Expressway wreck

UPDATED: Monday, April 4, 1:30 p.m., With additional details provided by witnesses.

Originally Published: Monday, April 4, 10:57 a.m.

LAKEVIEW, Calif., — Although details are still emerging, officials have confirmed that a motorist has died after a two-vehicle collision on Ramona Expressway in the Lakeview area between the cities of San Jacinto and Perris earlier this morning, Monday, April 4.

The fatal accident, which initial reports from the scene indicate was possibly the result of reckless driving and one driver attempting to pass slower moving vehicles along the roadway’s shoulder, happened in the area of First Street, between Bridge Street and Davis Road / Hansen Avenue.

Long considered one of the most dangerous and deadliest roads in southwest Riverside County, with countless major injury and fatal accidents occurring in recent years, many local leaders and area residents for years have been calling for and demanding changes and improvements to the deadly section of Ramona Expressway. (See links to twelve different recent Ramona Expressway-related RCNS articles below.)

Yet, despite their ongoing pleas, their voices continue to go unheard and unheeded by those with the power to make safety-based decisions, such as the seemingly simple installation of concrete medians or K-Rails that could end – or at least lessen and help mitigate – the constant crashes that occur along the few-mile section of the Expressway that passes through the Lakeview and Nuevo areas where these accidents seem to be most common.


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California Highway Patrol, Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, Cal Fire – Riverside, and other emergency personnel were dispatched to the scene around 6:30 a.m. after receiving reports of a major injury crash with entrapment, Cal Fire has since reported.

Based on information gathered from a CHP Incident Log as well as details provided to RCNS by witnesses to the collision, the driver of a blue Acura coupe was seen driving recklessly moments before the deadly crash and may have been attempting to pass slower moving vehicles when the fatal collision occurred.

Initial reports from the scene indicate the now-deceased driver of an Acura coupe was driving recklessly and may have been illegally attempting to pass slower moving vehicles on the shoulder of Ramona Expressway when the deadly crash occurred, killing the driver. Miguel Shannon / OC Hawk photo

When officials arrived, they found two wrecked and heavily damaged vehicles, described as a black Toyota Camry and blue Acura. Both vehicles were left blocking the eastbound lane of the roadway and firefighters quickly confirmed finding the Acura’s driver critically injured, unconscious, and trapped inside his vehicle.

Although the victim of the Toyota was quickly removed from their vehicle and began receiving medical treatment at the scene, it was not immediately clear if the person was transported for their injuries, which Cal Fire described as moderate.

Despite life-saving efforts, the driver of the Acura ultimately succumbed to their injuries and passed away before firefighters could extricate him from his vehicle.

The Riverside County Sheriff – Coroner’s Office has since identified Victor Basturto-Sandoval, 25, of San Jacinto, as the driver killed in the collision. A Coroner’s release indicated he was pronounced deceased at 6:52 a.m.

Based on the extensive extrication required to remove Victor from his wrecked Acura, officials at the scene called for the temporary closure of Ramona Expressway’s eastbound lane, with traffic diverted onto nearby county roads.

The roadway was re-opened around 9 a.m., according to CHP’s Incident Log.


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“He (the driver of the Acura) was driving 75 to 80 mph,” Hemet resident Junior Tapia told RCNS this afternoon, adding that he and his wife witnessed the collision and were two of the first people to stop at the scene and attempt to render aid to the injured occupants of the two involved vehicles.

“We saw him passing other vehicles on the shoulder while going westbound and he lost control and went into to the eastbound lane, right into the path of the oncoming Toyota,” he continued, adding, “I tried to talk to the young driver, but he was already gone before officers got there.”

“It was just so sad,” he added, saying that he was so troubled over what he had witnessed that after giving his statement to CHP he never made it into work.

CHP has not yet released any information or details about the collision and their accident investigation is continuing.

This is a developing story that will be updated as new information becomes available.

Click any photo to open full-size gallery.

Miguel Shannon / OC Hawk photos

Contact the writer:

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.