Major injuries reported after head-on crash involving trailered horse in Lake Mathews

LAKE MATHEWS, Calif., — Authorities say three people were hospitalized, including one victim who was airlifted to an area trauma center in critical condition, after a head-on collision involving two pickup trucks north of Lake Mathews Friday afternoon, April 29.

Although one of the trucks was towing a trailer with a horse on board when the accident occurred, the horse was uninjured in the crash, which happened on El Sobrante Road, east of Vista Del Lago, according to officials.


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CHP – Riverside, Cal Fire – Riverside, and other emergency personnel were dispatched to the scene at 12:10 p.m. after receiving multiple 911 calls reporting a head-on collision with entrapment. Callers reported that two trucks, one of which was towing a trailer with a horse, were involved, CHP Officer Javier Navarro has since said of the accident.

When officials arrived, they found a red Nissan and white GMC 2500 with a horse trailer blocking the eastbound lanes of travel and confirmed finding the occupants of the Nissan critically injured and trapped.

CHP officers work at the scene of Friday’s crash that left two people critically injured, with injuries considered to be life-threatening. Johnny Lopez / Lone wolf News and Media photo

Both vehicles had sustained major front-end damage and vehicle parts and debris were scattered across the roadway, leaving both lanes of travel blocked and impassable.

Cal Fire paramedics immediately began treating the injured occupants, while firefighters began a cut and rescue operation to free the driver and passenger of the Nissan.

Due to the severity of the Nissan passenger’s injuries, officials requested a life flight, at which time a REACH Air Ambulance was launched to the scene.

Officials also tended to the horse that was in the trailer at the time of the collision and summoned Riverside County Animal Control officers to the scene to assist with evaluating and treating the horse for potential injuries.


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After being extricated from the wrecked Nissan, the passenger was airlifted to a local trauma center while the Nissan’s male driver was transported to an area hospital by ground ambulance.

Both of the Nissan’s occupants’ injuries were described as life-threatening, with the passenger’s condition listed as critical. Their current conditions were not immediately available.

The female driver of the GMC was transported by ground ambulance to an area hospital with injuries described by CHP as minor.

After being removed from the trailer, the horse was evaluated at the scene by animal control officials and determined to be uninjured. The horse was later transported from the area by friends of the woman injured in the collision.


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During their subsequent investigation, CHP determined that just before the collision the Nissan had been traveling westbound at an unknown speed on El Sobrante Road, east of Vista Del Lago, while the GMC was traveling eastbound at an unknown speed, according to Navarro.

“For reasons still under investigation, the driver of the Nissan veered onto the dirt portion of the right shoulder and lost control,” Navarro explained, adding, “The driver of the Nissan crossed into the eastbound lanes of El Sobrante and struck the GMC head-on.”

A firefighter is seen comforting a horse that was inside a trailer when the truck pulling the trailer was struck head-on by another pickup truck. Johnny Lopez / Lone wolf News and Media photo

Alcohol and/or drug intoxication are not suspected to be contributing factors in the collision, the cause of which remains under investigation.

Anyone who may have witnessed this collision who has not yet provided a statement is encouraged to call the California Highway Patrol’s Accident Investigation Unit at (951) 637-8000.

Click any image to open full-size gallery.

Johnny Lopez / Lone wolf News and Media photos above, video below.

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.