An investigation was continuing Thursday into a crash just north of San Jacinto that killed a 26-year-old motorist and burned more than 200 acres before it was brought under control.
Glori Reece of Hemet was fatally injured about 2:55 p.m. Wednesday when his sedan went out of control and hit roadside objects on the southbound side of Gilman Springs Road, near Bridge Street, just east of Mystic Lake.
A fire erupted in Reece’s Toyota Avalon on impact, and good Samaritans pulled him from the burning vehicle, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
The California Highway Patrol initially reported that a big rig was involved in the wreck, but the trucker had only stopped to help and was not in the collision, authorities said.
Sheriff’s Sgt. Joe Narciso said deputies attempted life-saving measures on Reece until paramedics arrived, and efforts continued until he was pronounced dead at the scene at 3:32 p.m.
The fire that consumed the victim’s sedan jumped to roadside vegetation and then extended into a field, pushed by light to moderate winds. Multiple county engine and hand crews were sent to battle the flames, along with two Cal Fire air tankers and a water-dropping helicopter from Hemet-Ryan Airport, a few miles to the south.
The aircraft initiated a series of runs that blunted the fire’s progress. By 5:30 p.m., the fire’s spread was stopped. However, the blaze continued to expand around its flanks, charring a total 226 acres until it was fully contained shortly after 11 p.m.
No structures were damaged.
The CHP reported that one person suffered minor injuries at the crash scene, but the circumstances were unclear.
Officers and deputies closed both sides of Gilman Springs, from Alessandro Boulevard east of Moreno Valley to Bridge, for four hours because of the wreck and fire.
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