Three People Die in Two Unrelated Collisions
On 11/16/13 at about 11:34 am, Hemet Police Dispatch center began receiving numerous 9-1-1 calls of a head-on collision which occurred on Florida Avenue, just east of Warren Road, in West Hemet. Hemet Fire and Police began responding with fire personnel on scene within minutes of the call.
The first responders found two vehicles involved in the collision, with one vehicle on its side, precariously balanced in soft dirt. Police, Fire, and AMR personnel worked to stabilize the scene and extricate two people who were trapped in the overturned vehicle.
Preliminary investigation suggests that the overturned vehicle, a Dodge Caliber, was eastbound on Florida Avenue approaching Warren Road, when a car turned into a Shell gas station on the corner, a distance ahead of the Caliber. The Caliber appears to have moved to change lanes and subsequently lost control. The Caliber moved into the path of a Honda Pilot, which was westbound on Florida Avenue. The vehicles struck head-on, causing the Caliber to overturn and run off the road.
Three people in the Pilot suffered minor to moderate injuries and were taken to local hospitals, where they are expected to fully recover. Both occupants of the Caliber, a 51 year old male and a 61 year old female, succumbed to their injuries. Their identities are not being released, pending notifications by the Coroner’s Office.
While Hemet Police’s major collision investigation team was investigating this collision, Hemet Police patrol officers responded to a collision in the 1000 block of West Johnston Avenue at 12:54pm. Responding officers found that the sole occupant in this single vehicle collision had quit breathing.
Officers began CPR and Hemet Fire department and AMR crews took over when they arrived. The driver was transported to Hemet Valley Medical Center, where he died. As a result, patrol personnel requested a portion of the major collision investigation team to assist at the second location as well.
Preliminary investigation suggests that the elderly driver drifted off of the roadway, where he collided into a tree and house. While the cause of this collision is not immediately apparent, there are indications that he may have suffered a medical emergency that caused him to lose control of the vehicle. The Coroner’s Office will release the identity of this driver at a future time.
Investigation is continuing into the cause of both collisions. The simultaneous investigation of the two fatal collisions forced investigators to keep portions of Florida Avenue closed for about five hours.