TEMECULA, CA — The California Highway Patrol (CHP) is actively searching for the driver involved in a fatal hit-and-run incident that claimed the life of an unidentified Hispanic man walking along Rainbow Canyon Road on Wednesday. Authorities are seeking information on both the victim’s identity and the vehicle that fled the scene.
“We are looking for a truck or SUV with right-sided damage,” stated CHP Officer Mike Lassig.
The victim, estimated to be between 65 and 75 years old, was struck by a southbound SUV, truck, or larger vehicle, based on injuries sustained approximately 24 hours before the report, according to Lassig. The Riverside County Coroner’s office is working to determine the precise time of death and identify the victim.
“At this point, he is a John Doe,” Lassig mentioned. Initial investigations suggest that a truck or SUV traveling southbound on Rainbow Canyon Road collided with the pedestrian.
“He was likely walking along the road when the vehicle struck him. The victim ended up in nearby bushes, obscured from the roadway, suffering major injuries from the crash.” The discovery was made by a 911 caller, prompting the investigation.
CHP is urging the public to come forward with any information regarding the hit-and-run driver and to provide details on any missing person matching the suspect’s description.
Responding to the scene were officers from the California Highway Patrol, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, and the Riverside County Coroner. Rainbow Canyon Road, a heavily traveled I-15 bypass, experienced closures in both directions for much of Thursday afternoon to facilitate the investigation. Commuters were advised to use alternate routes during the recovery and inquiry process.