2021 Miss Young Philippines USA candidate killed after crashing into Murrieta light pole

MURRIETA, Calif., — Authorities say one person was killed and another was injured in a solo vehicle crash that happened in Murrieta Sunday, April 17. The deadly crash happened on Murrieta Hot Springs Road, east of Whitewood Road, according to officials.


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City of Murrieta police and fire personnel were dispatched to the scene around 10:50 p.m. after receiving multiple calls reporting a solo vehicle crash into a light pole with entrapment, Murrieta Police Lieutenant Spencer Parker has since reported.

Officials arrived at the scene within two minutes and located a compact sedan that had struck a light pole along the north curb of Murrieta Hot Springs Road and found a critically injured victim trapped inside the wrecked car. Another victim had already been pulled from the passenger seat of the wrecked vehicle by good Samaritans who stopped at the scene after witnessing the deadly crash.

Sharmaine Legaspi was killed when she crashed into a light pole last Sunday. The popular and beloved teen was a 2021 Miss Young Philippines USA candidate and had recently moved to Murrieta. Legaspi family photo

“Despite lifesaving measures, the driver, identified as 17-year-old Sharmaine Lauren Legaspi of Murrieta, was pronounced deceased at the scene,” Parker explained. “A 19-year-old passenger was transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and is expected to make a full recovery.”

Based on the circumstances, members of Murrieta PD’s Traffic Bureau responded to the scene and assumed the investigation.

Through witness statements and physical evidence, traffic investigators learned that Legaspi was traveling westbound in the number three lane of Murrieta Hot Springs Road east of Whitewood Road when she lost control of the sedan she was driving.

As Legaspi’s vehicle careened off the roadway and over the north sidewalk of Murrieta Hot Springs Road the car struck the light pole, causing her fatal injuries.

During her 2021 run for Miss Young Philippines USA, Legaspi wrote, “I want to give back the kindness others have shown to me and to use whatever privileges I possess help others who don’t have the things I do. Finding ways for Filipinos and Americans to improve the lives of the people (physically and mentally) is what I choose to advocate for.”

“In life, there will always be faults, but that only means endless opportunities. Beauty is something that’s found within yourself and once you’ve found it, it shines brightly,” she continued.

“It’s taken me a long time to realize just how beautiful I was because I admired others so much and compared myself to them, putting myself down. I know others do as well that’s why I want everyone to realize that being different is what makes you, YOU and you are magnificent!”

Anyone with further information related to this traffic collision is encouraged to contact Murrieta Police Traffic Investigator Karlton Bridgewaters at (951)-461-6303 or [email protected] or Traffic Division Sergeant Ontario Williams at (951)-461-6360 or [email protected]. Callers can refer to incident file number MR222053 and can remain anonymous.

Contact the writer: [email protected]

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.

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