Two Injured in Crash Triggered by Combative Driver


A motorist who rammed a pickup truck and caused it to crash in Hemet, injuring the occupants and sparking a small fire, was at large.
The road rage assault happened at about 2:20 p.m. Monday in the area of Esplanade and Fruitvale avenues, according to Hemet police Sgt. Dan Reinbolt.

He said the pickup’s driver was passing the intersection of Menlo Avenue and State Street, going west, when a man at the wheel of a light-colored compact car cut in front of him, leading to a combative verbal exchange between the two men.

The shouting match continued as the drivers turned north on State Street, Reinbolt said.
As they passed Fruitvale, “The driver of the compact car began ramming the driver of the pickup,” The Sergeant said “The pickup truck driver lost control of his vehicle, drove up the curb on the east side of State, and then collided into the power pole.”
The assailant sped away northbound.

The pickup’s driver and his female passenger suffered unspecified injuries and were taken to a hospital for treatment, according to Reinbolt, who said both are expected to fully recover. Their names were withheld.
The crash caused electrical lines to collapse into vegetation, where the ensuing sparks touched off a vegetation fire in an open lot. The blaze was quickly knocked down by Hemet firefighters, Reinbolt said.

Anyone with information about the suspect’s whereabouts was asked to contact the police
department at 951-765-2400.


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