UPDATED: Wednesday, June 17, 1:50 p.m., With coroner’s release of information and additional details from CHP.

MEAD VALLEY, Calif. — An 18-year-old Riverside woman was killed and two other victims were injured after a hit and run traffic collision in the unincorporated community of Mead Valley Sunday evening, June 14.

A 19-year-old woman who also struck sustained life-threatening injuries and another teen suffered minor injuries in the collision, according to officials now investigating the deadly incident.

A horse that was also struck was euthanized at the scene due to its major traumatic injuries after the hit and run accident, which happened in the area of Markham and Alexander streets, according to officials who are continuing to search for the driver who fled the scene of the deadly crash.

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California Highway Patrol and other emergency personnel responded to the scene about 9:15 p.m., after receiving reports of a major injury traffic collision involving three pedestrians and a horse, CHP Officer Juan Quintero later said of the deadly hit and run.

When officials arrived at the scene they found three victims and a horse that had been struck by a driver who then fled the scene of the crash.

Despite life-saving efforts one of the victims, since identified as 18-year-old Michelle Leon, of Riverside, passed away at the scene of Sunday’s hit and run. A coroner’s release has since indicated she was pronounced deceased at the scene at 9:26 p.m.

A 19-year-old woman, since identified as Jennifer Romero, also of Riverside, suffered life-threatening injuries and was rushed to an area hospital for treatment, according to Quintero.

The third victim was a juvenile, who suffered minor injuries in the collision. That victim’s name was not released due to their age.

The horse that was struck had to be euthanized at the scene due to its injuries, said Quintero.

Officials are continuing to search for a gold Nissan Pathfinder that fled the scene after hitting three pedestrians and a horse. The hit and run killed one of the girls and the horse, which had to be euthanized at the scene. CHP photo

During their subsequent investigation, CHP found and recovered several broken and damaged parts of the vehicle that fled the scene, leading them to identifying the SUV as a gold Nissan Pathfinder; “likely a model from 1998 to 2002”, according to Quintero.

Based on witness and victim statements, CHP determined the Nissan was traveling westbound on Markham St. at an unknown speed, when “for reasons still under investigation” it plowed into the three pedestrians and horse, Quintero explained.

After the collision, the driver failed to stop or render aid to the victims and fled the scene.

The Nissan was last seen speeding westbound on Markham St., according to Quintero, who added that the SUV should be missing a front grille and front, right-side fender flare, and could have a broken right headlight.

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CHP’s investigation is ongoing and anyone with information about the incident, or who knows the identity and/or whereabouts of the driver who fled the scene is encouraged to immediately contact CHP’s Accident Investigation Unit at (951) 637-8000.

This is a developing story that will be updated as new information is available.


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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.