MORENO VALLEY – An initial report on March 6th regarding a hit-and-run traffic collision involving a pedestrian notified the force at approximately 5:30 PM. Deputies gave immediate response to Sunnymead Boulevard, east of Heacock Street, in the city of Moreno Valley.
Upon arriving on-scene, Deputies found a male pedestrian who’d suffered life-threatening injuries. Sadly, the man was declared deceased at the scene.
Investigating Deputies made the determination that “the vehicle involved in the collision had fled the area without rendering aid or summoning assistance,” said Reporting Officer Sergeant R. Grmusha.
Next, the investigation was assumed by The Moreno Valley Sheriff’s Station Traffic Collision Reconstruction Team. Gathered information revealed that “the victim was crossing Sunnymead Boulevard, east of the intersection with Heacock Street, when he was struck by a black Jeep Cherokee, traveling eastbound at a high rate of speed,” said Sgt. Grmusha.
In addition, “witness interviews and evidence recovered during the investigation indicated the black Jeep Cherokee was engaged in a street race with a blue Chevy Camaro when it struck the victim and fled the location eastbound on Sunnymead Boulevard.”
Deputies processing the scene for evidence received contact from both Jorge Diaz (20) of Moreno Valley (the driver of the Jeep Cherokee) and Miguel Garcia Valdez (23) of Perris (the Chevy Camaro’s driver.) As a result, “following the investigation, Jorge Diaz was arrested and booked into custody for murder and charges related to street racing,” reported Sgt. Grmusha, “while Miguel Garcia Valdez, who was also arrested, was charged with vehicular manslaughter and additional street- racing related charges.”
The identity of the deceased victim was not released until pending the positive identification and notification to the next of kin. A recent update ID’d the victim as Mario Hernandez, (45) of Moreno Valley.
It is yet unknown whether alcohol or drugs could have been factors in the fatal events. The collision investigation had required a long-term temporary closure of Sunnymead Boulevard, between Heacock Street and Back Way.
You are urged to call Deputy Evan Bechtold of the Moreno Valley Sheriff’s Station at 951-486-6826 or the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department at 951-776-1099, with any information that you may have regarding this ongoing fatal street-collision case #MV210650173.
Persons who wish to report criminal activity and wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 800-78-CRIME (800-782-7463) or 800-47-DRUGS (800-473-7847). You can also leave anonymous information at the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Crime Tips Online Form.