Hemet police officer determined at fault in April 28 collision

CHP provides Traffic Collision Report after HPD denies access

Photo by John Strangis
A collision between a private citizen and a Hemet police officer on his way to an “officer needs assistance” call was determined to be the fault of the police officer.

■ By Kyle Selby / Reporter

A vehicular collision involving a private citizen and a Hemet police officer on April 28, at the intersection of Acacia Avenue and Palm Avenue in Hemet was determined to be the police officer’s fault, according to the Traffic Collision Report received from the California Highway Patrol (CHP).
The Traffic Collision Report was provided by CHP in response to a Public Records Act request for the information. A complete report, with sensitive information redacted, was provided within 10 days, in compliance with the law. A similar request was made to the Hemet Police Department, which asked for five very specific items. Only one item, the log of radio calls for that day, was provided. The rest of the items were denied.
The collision, which occurred at 7:09 p.m., resulted in both vehicles being severely damaged, and all parties involved were injured, including the K9 officer, and were taken to appropriate medical facilities, according to the CHP report.
According to the police report, “this collision occurred during the hours of darkness, and the weather conditions were clear.”
The parties involved were K9 Officer Andrew Reynoso and K9 Mac of the Hemet Police Department, and private citizen Avelino Sauri, who was driving a Toyota Corolla. Reynoso was driving his Ford Crown Victoria on duty, and was responding to an “officer needs assistance” call.

Photo by John Strangis
Officer Andrew Reynoso was determined to be at fault for the April 28 collision.

According to the CHP report, Reynoso was driving his vehicle the wrong way, eastbound in the westbound lane of Acacia Avenue, and entered the intersection with Palm Avenue with activated sirens, going a reported 20 miles per hour, obeying the 35 mph speed limit. Sauri was driving northbound on Palm Avenue, traveling through the same intersection just before Reynoso, somewhere between 5 to 10 miles per hour.
Reynoso failed to yield the right-of-way to Sauri, and traveled directly into his path, as he was made it through the intersection. The front of Sauri’s Corolla collided with the right-front of Reynoso’s vehicle. Reynoso’s vehicle continued to spin out of control after impact, and collided with a building located at the northeast corner of the intersection. The building suffered about 10 feet worth of damage to its exterior façade. According to the police report, Reynoso’s air bags did not deploy, however, Sauri’s did.
Damage to Sauri’s Corolla included a dislodged front bumper, shattered front grille and headlight assemblies, an inward and upward buckled hood, a buckled left fender, a right fender peeled to the rear, a shattered windshield, and a buckled roof.
Reynoso’s vehicle sustained the following damages: a dented push bumper, broken front grille and right headlight assemblies, a buckled inward and upward hood, and the right fender and right door were buckled and peeled to the rear. The right front tire was also dislodged from its A-arm assembly.
Both Reynoso and Sauri were transported to Hemet Valley Hospital via ambulance shortly after the accident, while K-9 Mac was transported to a local veterinarian. Neither party stayed long, nor had any serious injuries.

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