An early morning hit-and-run crash that took place around 12:45 a.m. on Sunday, June 22, in the Winchester area has a local family seeking the public’s help to catch the driver at fault.
According to officials from the Beaumont office of the California Highway Patrol, Ashlee Andrea, 18, of San Jacinto, was driving her dad’s Hyundai home from a friend’s house and as she approached the area between Winchester Rd. and Sanderson Ave. in Hemet, a vehicle came at her head-on and struck her vehicle on the drivers side, causing it to rollover one and a half times, before fleeing the scene.
Andrea says her quick reaction definitely saved her life. “I was driving in the left lane and from the distance the oncoming car was coming at, I didn’t really notice it come over the center divider. Once I knew the car was coming at me head on, I quickly moved into the right lane and then everything happened too fast. I know the oncoming car ended up clipping my driver’s side near the gas tank, which sent me rolling and then I went airborn. It was pretty terrifying. At that moment I was just praying I was going to be okay and all I could think about was my family,” recalled Andrea.
Family members quickly posted the crash photos to Facebook in hopes of finding the hit-and-run driver.
Officer Kincaid from the California Highway Patrol was one of the first to arrive on the scene along with the San Jacinto Police Department and he stated that the only description that witnesses he had from the statement’s that were given was that the other car was black and will definitely have some serious front end damage.
Andrea stated the car rolled over one and a half times before coming to rest upside down.
“I was upside down and was having trouble with my seat belt because it didn’t want to unlock, but as soon as it did, I fell onto my windshield. At that point I was trying to find a way out of the car because I smelled gas. The whole time I was screaming for help and could kick out my window. Luckily my electronics were still working and I was able to get the window down. Had it not been for a family that came and helped me out of my car and called the police for me, I don’t know what could have happened. To me that family is a bunch of angels,” she said.
“The car did catch on fire while the family was moving her to safety and it was at that point that first responders from the Fire Department were able to put the fire out upon arriving to the scene,” said Officer Kincaid.
According to Andrea, she has some bruising and a few cuts on her neck from possibly being suspended from her seat belt upside down, but in a recent phone interview, she says she is now resting safely at home and hoping that the driver of the car that hit her will come forward very soon.
“I am very thankful that I did not have anyone with me and I was able to walk away from the crash. This person needs to be caught or turn him or herself in, I mean what if they do it again and who knows what could happen next time,” exclaims Ashlee.
If you have any tips about the suspect vehicle or any other information about this crash, contact Officer Kincaid of the Beaumont division of the California Highway Patrol at (951) 769-2000.
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