UPDATE: April 25, 3 p.m.
HEMET – Riverside County Coroner’s officials have identified the victim killed in yesterday’s fatal motorcycle accident that happened on Mountain Avenue west of Cedar Avenue in an unincorporated area of Hemet.
Officials identified the man as Robert Pittenger, 58, of Hemet. Pittinger was pronounced dead at 2:12 p.m., less than twenty minutes after he lost control of his motorcycle and was thrown from the vehicle in a single-vehicle accident.
HEMET – Details are still emerging after a motorcyclist was killed when his motorcycle left the roadway this afternoon. The deadly accident happened along a sweeping curve on the Mountain Avenue section of Ramona Expressway in an unincorporated area directly adjacent to the cities of Hemet and San Jacinto.
The motorcycle and its rider ended up in a dirt field between Cedar Avenue and Lake Street.
Because the accident happened along the border of two cities and an unincorporated area, numerous emergency first responders from multiple agencies were initially dispatched to the scene of the accident about 1:55 p.m., after several motorists and witnesses called 911 to report the wreck.
Cal Fire/Riverside County and City of Hemet firefighters, Hemet PD, California Highway Patrol officers and Riverside County sheriff’s deputies from both the San Jacinto and Hemet Stations were all initially sent to the call.
Officials began arriving at the scene of the deadly wreck within minutes of the call being dispatched. The first arriving City of Hemet engine company reported finding a victim off the roadway. Firefighters reported the victim was not moving.
Firefighter/paramedics immediately began life-saving efforts while providing first aid to the downed rider. Despite their best efforts, the rider succumbed to his injuries and medical personnel pronounced the victim dead at the scene.
The victim has not yet been identified, pending notification of his family.
After the fatal wreck, nearby residents immediately took to social media, discussing what they had witnessed and what was happening at the scene, as officials first tried in vain to save the victim’s life and then began the long process of investigating the cause of the accident.
Witnesses who lived in the area said they could see the rider and his motorcycle down in a field along the north side of the roadway. They also described seeing at least two destroyed metal signs they believed the rider may have smashed into while losing control.
The motorcycle, that ended up in the field next to the rider, was described as a “customized, Harley Davidson-style motorcycle.”
Early indications show the motorcycle was traveling westbound on Mountain Avenue when the rider left the roadway for an unknown reason.
Witnesses who were actually at the scene of the accident stated there were no skid marks or indications that the rider attempted to stop or slow down before losing control and leaving the roadway.
One person who remained at the scene to provide a statement to law enforcement officials investigating the deadly wreck told community reporters at the scene that he saw the crash, but declined to be identified publicly.
The witness said he saw the motorcyclist leave the roadway and said the rider tried to correct himself and his course of travel as he left the roadway, until he struck the first of two metal signs.
According to the witness, the impact with the signs caused the motorcyclist to be ejected from his motorcycle.
A grey Buick Century sedan could be seen at the accident location; however it was not immediately known if the vehicle was involved in the motorcycle’s crash or if the driver was one of several believed to have witnessed the deadly collision.
California Highway Patrol officers are investigating the cause of the fatal wreck.
While officials investigated the cause of the collision and coroner’s officials conducted their investigation, Mountain Avenue was closed to one lane, with alternating directions of traffic being let through at a time.
The investigation is active and ongoing.
This is a developing story. Additional updates will be provided as they become available.