Three crashes on Hill roads last week, all with injuries

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Three vehicle crash incidents took place over the last week on Hill roads. Each of the three had injuries, some serious.

Douglas Miller of Menifee was traveling westbound on Highway 74 at mile marker 58.50 around 3:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13, when he heard a pop in his white Dodge truck. Miller then lost his ability to steer, causing him to lose control and travel into oncoming traffic, rolling over onto the driver side of the vehicle, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Graham Aanestad. No one, including Miller, was injured in the crash. Highway 74 was closed and then opened to one lane of traffic while the scene was cleared. Idyllwild Fire, Riverside County Fire Station 53, U.S. Forest Service, CHP and Idyllwild Garage all responded to the scene.
Photo by Jenny Kirchner

At 11:35 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 14, Jonathan Gregory, 27, of Moreno Valley, was driving a 1990 Jeep Cherokee eastbound on Highway 74, 1 mile west of South Fork Trail, when a fire began in the vehicle. With Gregory were three passengers — Ashley Gregory, 25, Aubrey Gregory, 5, and Candice Gregory, 4, all from the same address in Moreno Valley. All four suffered burns that required transport — Jonathan by American Medical Response to Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs with burns to arms, face and head; and Ashley, Aubrey and Candice by AMR to Riverside Regional Medical Center in Moreno Valley. On his Facebook page, Jonathan said the family was taking a camping trip to Lake Hemet when his gas tank exploded. “We were very lucky to get the girls out without a scratch or burn,” he said.

(See story on front page for further information on the wildfire that resulted from this crash.)

At 3:20 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13, Douglas Miller, 39, of Menifee, was driving a white 2016 Ram truck eastbound on Highway 74, 1,000 feet east of McGaugh Road when, for unknown reasons, his vehicle left the roadside, struck the mountainside and rolled over. Miller complained of pain in the neck and back but did not request transport. There were no passengers in Miller’s vehicle and no other vehicles involved in the incident.

About 5:35 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, Jonathan Schiller, 20, of Perris, was driving a white 2016 Chrysler 300 northbound on Highway 243,

According to California Highway Patrol Officer Graham Aanestad, at about 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, a white Chrysler 300 was traveling northbound on Highway 243 near Marian View Drive. Its approaching speed was about 45 mph. As the driver started to enter the turn near Marian View Drive, he didn’t complete the turn, causing him to continue straight ahead, sideswiping a black Lincoln traveling southbound with his Chrysler. Then, his vehicle struck a white Dodge Ram truck head-on, which was also traveling southbound. Three occupants from the incident suffered minor injuries and were transported by ground ambulance. One ambulance went to Eisenhower Medical Center and one to Riverside County Regional Medical Center. Drugs or alcohol were not suspected as being the cause of the incident.
Photo by Jenny Kirchner

200 feet south of Marian View Drive, at speeds deemed excessive by the investigating officer. As the vehicle started to enter the turn near Marian View, it didn’t complete the turn, causing the vehicle to continue straight ahead.

Schiller’s vehicle then sideswiped a black 2001 Lincoln, driven by Sherri Hemmer, 49, of Idyllwild, which was traveling southbound. Schiller’s vehicle next struck a white 2014 Dodge Ram truck head-on that was also traveling southbound, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Graham Aanestad.

The Ram truck was driven by Miguel Leeleon, 61, of Rancho Mirage. With Leeleon as front seat passenger was Gregory Leeleon, 67, also of Rancho Mirage. Both Leeleons were transported by AMR to Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage. Schiller was not transported. No information about Hemmer’s condition or transport was available in the initial CHP report. Neither drugs nor alcohol were suspected as causes of the incident.

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