Photographer airlifted with severe head trauma after mishap at La Quinta golf course

LA QUINTA, Calif., — Authorities say a victim was airlifted with a severe head injury after being struck in the face by a golf ball at a La Quinta golf course yesterday afternoon, Friday, April 22. According to witnesses, the man is a photographer and was not golfing when he was struck by the golf ball.


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Emergency personnel were dispatched to the PGA West Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course around 3:23 p.m. after receiving reports of a man who was seriously injured after being struck by a golf ball, according to Cal Fire.

Due to the severity of the victim’s injury, officials requested a life flight, at which time a Mercy Air Ambulance was launched to the scene.

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The victim was ultimately airlifted to an area trauma center for treatment of what Cal Fire described as a “moderate to severe” head injury.

Area resident Leslie Whitaker and other witnesses have since said the victim is a photographer and was not golfing when the accident occurred.

Whitaker also went on to say that the man was struck in the eye, shattering his glasses and causing fragments of the glasses to go into his eye. He was also believed to have suffered a fractured skull, she added.


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The victim’s current condition was not immediately available and no further information has been released.

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.