Local driver, 57, killed & two students injured in fatal crash involving Lake Elsinore school bus

LAKE ELSINORE, Calif., — Authorities say a local man was killed after crashing into a school bus transporting students to Lake Elsinore area schools early Thursday morning, May 12.

The fatal crash, which happened just outside the city limits and caused significant traffic delays, occurred at the intersection of Hwy 74 and Riverside Street, according to officials.

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California Highway Patrol and Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, along with Cal Fire – Riverside and other emergency personnel, were dispatched to the scene around 6:30 a.m. after receiving multiple 911 calls reporting a two-vehicle crash with entrapment.

911 callers reported that a small SUV had crashed into a Lake Elsinore Unified School District bus carrying three student passengers and told emergency dispatchers that the driver of the SUV was seriously injured and trapped inside his vehicle.

The driver of a Chevy HHR passed away about 45 minutes after smashing broadside into a Lake Elsinore Unified School District bus transporting three students, according to CHP. RVCNews photos

When officials arrived, they found the bus and other involved vehicle, described as a dark blue Chevy HHR. The Chevy sustained major front-end damage while the bus had moderate driver’s-side damage that appeared to have been caused by a broadside collision.

Firefighters confirmed finding the Chevy’s driver trapped and injured inside his vehicle and performed a cut and rescue operation to free the critically injured man.

The driver was then rushed to Inland Valley Medical Center where despite lifesaving efforts he succumbed to his injuries and passed away.

The Riverside County Sheriff – Coroner’s Office has since identified Anthony Ramirez, 57, of Lake Elsinore, as the driver who died as a result of the collision. A Coroner’s release indicated he was pronounced deceased at 7:15 a.m.

Yesterday morning’s crash caused significant delays in travel times until officials finished their initial, on-scene investigation and cleared the wrecked Chevy, damaged bus, and other debris from the scene. RVCNews photo

CHP has reported the bus was being driven by a 69-year-old driver and that three students were on board at the time of the collision. They were described as a 5-year-old girl, 8-year-old boy, and 20-year-old, whose gender was not immediately available.

Although the driver and one of the passengers were uninjured in the crash, two of the students were taken to a nearby hospital with injuries described as minor. Both have since been released, according to LEUSD spokeswoman Melissa Valdez; who was not immediately able to confirm what schools the students were being transported to at the time of the deadly collision.

CHP’s accident investigation is ongoing and anyone who may have witnessed the fatal crash is encouraged to contact CHP – Border Division at (858) 650-3600. Callers can refer to incident file number and can remain anonymous.


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RVCNews photos above, video below.



Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

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.

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