The California Highway Patrol Banning Pass station reported only one incident on Hill roads over the last week and this one had an “Only in Idyllwild” flavor to it.
CHP Public Information Officer Darren Meyer reported a hit-and-run — more properly, an overturn-and-run, that happened at 10:52 a.m. Monday, April 18.
An unidentified male was driving his green 2004 Ford Explorer north on Highway 243 about 2 miles north of Mt. Edna Road when he lost control of the vehicle and it overturned. Directly in back of the incident was a Bautista Fire Crew bus that arrived on the scene as the “wheels of the vehicle were still turning,” according to the CHP report.
The fire captain got out of the bus and approached the driver of the vehicle, who was already out of the vehicle. Upon seeing the fire captain, the man, black and in his early 40s, according to the fire captain, seemed agitated but uninjured.
The man began rapidly grabbing his belongings and attempting to remove the plates on the vehicle. He succeeded in removing one, and with his belongings and the single license plate in hand, the man fled on foot into the woods.
A CHP officer arrived on the scene about 12 minutes later and began a search for the man in the direction he had fled. He did not find the individual.
CHP ran a search on the license plate and found the vehicle to be registered to a security company in Moreno Valley. CHP had the vehicle towed. The driver has still not been located.