By Trevor Montgomery, Riverside County News Source
PERRIS — Three people were hospitalized after a fiery, two-vehicle wreck, Sunday, Oct. 15. The major-injury accident happened at the corner of Perris Boulevard and Ramona Expressway in Perris, according to Sheriff’s officials, who say driving under the influence is suspected as a contributing factor in the collision.
Deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Perris Police Station and other emergency first responders were dispatched to the scene of the crash just after 3 a.m., Riverside Sheriff’s Sergeant Sergio Rodriguez explained in a written press release after the collision.
911 callers told emergency dispatchers one of the vehicles had smashed into a pole and the other had burst into flames. Witnesses also told dispatchers there were possibly victims trapped inside one or both of the cars.
Riverside County Sheriff’s and Fire officials began arriving within minutes of the dispatched call and found two wrecked vehicles. A white Hyundai Elantra sedan was against a pole and a red sedan was fully engulfed in flames. Both vehicles came to rest at the southwest corner of the intersection, leaving vehicle parts and debris strewn across the lanes of travel on both roads.
Officials quickly determined the male driver of the car that had caught fire was able to escape before the fire engulfed the vehicle, according to Rodriguez. The man was not injured.
Three females, whom officials have not identified by name, age or city of residence, were inside the Hyundai that had plowed into the pole. All three suffered serious injuries and all were transported by ground ambulances to an area hospital.
While paramedics treated those injured in the crash, deputies investigated the cause of the collision.
During their investigation, sheriff’s officials called for the temporary closure of the southwest corner of the intersection, where the cars came to rest.
The roadway remained closed for about an hour until officials completed their investigation.
“It is suspected the female driver was driving under the influence of alcohol,” Rodriguez later explained. “The suspected DUI driver was not booked due to the injuries incurred in the collision.”
Further investigation and toxicology tests will need to be completed to determine the driver’s level of intoxication.
Anyone with information about this investigation or who witnessed the collision and has not been interviewed is encouraged to contact Deputy Heffington at the Perris Police Station at (951) 210-1000. Callers can refer to incident file number PE172880023 and can remain anonymous. Citizens may also submit a tip using the Sheriff’s CrimeTips online form.