HEMET, Calif. — A Menifee motorcyclist has died after a pickup truck pulling a trailer made a left turn in front of the rider, causing the man to lose control and be ejected from his motorcycle in an unincorporated area of Hemet earlier today, Saturday, June 20.
The deadly crash occurred on a winding and narrow mountain roadway at the intersection of Red Mountain and Cougar roads, about twenty-five miles from the victim’s residence.
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CHP, Cal Fire-Riverside, and AMR medics were dispatched to the scene about 7:40 a.m., CHP Officer Mike Lassig later said of the fatal collision.
When officials arrived they found the downed rider partially under the utility trailer. He had sustained major traumatic injuries and when paramedics arrived they pronounced him deceased at the scene.
Riverside County Sheriff-Coroner officials have since identified the victim as Scott Burtness, 32, of Menifee, A coroner’s release indicated Burtness succumbed to his injuries and passed away at 8 a.m., about twenty minutes after the crash occurred.
During their subsequent investigation, CHP determined Burtness was riding a new, 2020 KTM Adventure dual-sport motorcycle that can be ridden both on and off road.
He was traveling southbound on Red Mountain Rd. just south of Cougar Rd. and was rounding a curve in the roadway just before the deadly accident, according to Lassig.
At the same time, an 84-year-old man from Kingman, Arizona was driving northbound on Red Mountain Rd. in his 2001 Dodge Ram pickup truck and was pulling a 1971 utility trailer.
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The pickup truck driver, whose name was not publicly released, “was making a left turn at approximately 5 mph onto Cougar Road, which is a dirt road,” Explained Lassig.
“As (the pickup driver) was pulling onto Cougar Road from Red Mountain Road, (Burtness) observed the Dodge Ram pickup truck pulling a trailer in his path of travel,” Lassig continued; saying, “Due to Burtness’ speed, he was unable to maintain control of his motorcycle, causing (him) to get ejected off of the motorcycle.”
“(Burtness) landed onto the asphalt roadway and slid into the 1971 utility trailer’s right side, where he suffered major injuries,” said Lassig.
Lassig later used the opportunity to remind area motorcycle enthusiasts “to always travel at a safe and prudent speed and have a high visual horizon.”
“It will allow you will to have time to react and avoid a collision,” Lassig continued.
The CHP – Temecula Area Office is conducting this traffic collision investigation, which is active and ongoing.
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Trevor Montgomery, 48, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, (the now defunct) Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.
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 29 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 16 grandchildren.