Montgomery Creek woman, 25, killed in head-on collision with big rig near Fall River Mills

FALL RIVER MILLS, Calif., — Authorities say a 25-year-old Montgomery Creek woman was killed after being involved in a head-on collision with a tractor-trailer semi-truck early Saturday morning, Aug. 12.

Neither of the occupants from the big rig were injured in the deadly collision, which happened along SR-299E just west of Pit No. 1 Powerhouse Road near Fall River Mills, according to officials.


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CHP says the driver of a Chevy Cobalt was killed when her vehicle plowed head-on into an oncoming big rig while traveling along SR-299E, just west of Fall River Mills. Bill Correll photo

California Highway Patrol has since reported that officials were dispatched to the scene of the crash around 5:50 a.m. after receiving reports of a head-on collision involving a passenger vehicle and tractor-trailer, with the passenger vehicle and its’ driver trapped under the big rig.

Responding officials found a red 2008 Chevy Cobalt that had crashed head-on into a red 2014 Peterbilt towing an unloaded flat-bed trailer, both of which sustained significant damage in the collision and later had to be towed from the scene.

Officials immediately began a cut and rescue operation to free the critically injured driver of the Chevy; however, despite life-saving efforts the woman succumbed to her injuries and passed away.

According to CHP the driver killed in the collision, since identified by family and friends as Maria “Ria” Riggins, was traveling westbound on the highway and was coming down a steep grade just west of Fall River Mills when, for an unknown reason, she crossed over the double-yellow lines and plowed head-on into the Peterbuilt.

CHP has since said the Chevy had been going around 55 to 60 mph and that the Peterbuilt had been traveling eastbound up the grade around 45 mph when the collision occurred.

CHP says their preliminary on-scene investigation revealed that neither alcohol nor drug intoxication were contributing factors in the crash and added that the victim killed in the collision had not been wearing a seat belt when the deadly accident occurred.

Neither the driver of the big rig, Jose Ramirez, 25, of Corning, or his passenger, Vincent Ramirez, 50, also of Corning, were injured in the crash and both were continuing to cooperate with CHP’s investigation, which is active and ongoing.

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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.

In 2022, Trevor added published author to his accomplishments, after he co-authored “A Veteran’s Story – Courage and Honor”. The book, which became a national bestseller in multiple categories, is available for purchase on Amazon.

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.