Two days after a truck ran into the back of a parked Idyllwild Fire Protection District (IFPD) Engine 621 on Scenic Drive, the Perris Police Department (on a Riverside County Sheriff’s Department contract) responded to a major-injury traffic crash at the intersection of Perris Boulevard and Ramona Expressway. This incident also was not reported at the Oct. 19 IFPD Board of Commissioners meeting. The vehicle was reported in excellent condition instead during the chief’s report.
Officer Roberto Torres said he was dispatched at 7:40 p.m. Friday, Oct. 1, and arrived on scene at 7:46 p.m. He said Robert Clark, 33, of Riverside was driving eastbound on Ramona Expressway in a white 2018 Ram 3500 owned by IFPD “approaching Perris Blvd with his emergency lights and sirens activated. The traffic signal was red for eastbound traffic as he entered the intersection.” He said the vehicle “entered the intersection at a slow speed, clearing lanes and driving with due regard.”
James Robert Bower, 77, of Moreno Valley, was driving a blue 2020 Ford F-150 northbound on Perris Boulevard when he collided into the IFPD truck driving at a speed of about 45 mph.
Torres said Bower told him he could hear an ambulance siren but could not locate it.
American Medical Response transported Bower to Riverside University Health System Medical Center with a fractured spine. Clark was not injured. Torres charged Bower with failing to yield to an emergency vehicle.
Both vehicles were towed and the IFPD truck was totaled.
The Special District Risk Management Authority appraised the truck, Battalion Vehicle 6201, after the actual cash value “of the vehicle plus the tax less the salvage bid and district deductible,” according to a claims examiner’s email to IFPD. The total insurance settlement IFPD is receiving is $41,215.
When asked why Clark was in Perris with his siren and lights flashing, Fire Chief Mark LaMont only said “… Clark is currently working as a detailed Battalion Chief and was [en] route to Idyllwild when he was hit.”
The incident finally appears on the Dec. 14 board of commissioners meeting agenda where LaMont reports that he will be working on replacing the vehicle. When asked why it wasn’t on the October meeting agenda, LaMont said the IFPD board president and officers were each individually informed immediately following each of the crashes. He also said he would have reported them in the November meeting agenda if IFPD had held a meeting.