Temecula man, 71, faces charges after Winchester hit and run that killed Menifee man, 41
WINCHESTER, Calif., — Authorities investigating a deadly hit and run that occurred in the Winchester area Sunday evening, April 30, say a 71-year-old Temecula man was later tracked to a Hemet residence after the deadly collision, which happened along Winchester Road (Highway 79), south of Scott Road.
The alleged hit and run driver was not arrested after being located by officers, but faces felony charges related to the fatal incident, according to CHP Officer Mike Lassig. Although intoxication was not suspected, Lassig did not specify why the man was not arrested and booked into jail.
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California Highway Patrol – San Gorgonio Pass and Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, along with Cal Fire – Riverside and other emergency personnel were dispatched to the scene around 10:25 p.m. after receiving reports of a pedestrian who had been struck by a vehicle, CHP and Cal Fire have since reported.
When officials arrived, they found a man down along the side of the roadway who had sustained major traumatic injuries. despite life-saving efforts, the man succumbed to his injuries and passed away at the scene.
The Riverside County Sheriff – Coroner’s Office has since identified Andrew Lopez, 41, of Menifee, as the pedestrian killed in the collision. A Coroner’s release indicated he was pronounced deceased at 10:45 p.m.
Although the driver who hit the victim was not found at the scene, officers investigating the cause of the crash soon found evidence that pointed their investigation in his direction.
While processing the scene for evidence related to the hit and run, “officers located vehicle parts … which had broken off at the time of the collision,” according to Lassig, who said the parts ultimately led officers to identifying and locating the hit and run driver at a Hemet residence.
The man, whose name was not released, was questioned at the scene, but not taken into custody.
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During their subsequent investigation, CHP determined Lopez had been walking in the northbound traffic lane when he was struck by a 2016 Toyota RAV4 being driven by the elderly suspect, who reportedly did not stop, attempt to render aid to the mortally injured victim, or call to report the collision, according to Lassig.
“The driver showed no signs of impairment,” Lassig went on to explain, adding, “Charges for felony hit-and-run are pending.”
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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.