Officer Was Heading to Shelter; No Animals Harmed
A man driving a Suburban sped out of a parking lot and slammed into a Riverside County animal control truck this afternoon in Hemet.
Animal Control Officer Harvey Beck was traveling northbound on State Street, en route to the county’s San Jacinto Valley Animal Campus in San Jacinto. He sustained injuries to his right thumb and right ankle.
Emergency responders with the Hemet Fire Department showed up, plus an ambulance, but Officer Beck did not require immediate hospitalization. He told responders he would take himself to the hospital.
Officer Beck was near the intersection of State Street and Stetson Avenue at the time of the crash, which happened at about 4 p.m.
The driver of a Suburban exited a parking lot and hit the right side of Officer Beck’s truck. Much of the damage to the county vehicle happened along the passenger-side door. No animals were injured in the accident. (Officer Beck’s truck actually did not have any pets on board at the time of the incident.)
The driver of the Suburban exited his vehicle and fled the scene on a skateboard. Authorities started a search of the area but it’s uncertain if the man had been apprehended.
Although the officer’s injuries appeared to be minor, the intersection was very busy at the time of the incident. There were many onlookers afterward.
“We know many people may have wondered if any animals were hurt in this crash, so we wanted to share this incident to ensure everyone that the truck was empty,” Animal Services Lt. John Stephens said. “Of course, we’re also relieved that Officer Beck should recover well too.”