Shortly after 10:00 pm. on Tuesday June 27th, Hemet Police Officers responded to a traffic collision in the area of Franklin St. and Florida Ave. As the officers arrived, they learned that a silver Jeep Cherokee had collided into a male subject in a motorized wheelchair.
The operator of the wheelchair was seriously injured and officers began life saving efforts. The wheelchair driver was transported to an area hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries. The decedent has been identified as Richard Tufts, a 57 year old resident of Hemet. The driver of the Jeep was uninjured, remained on scene, and cooperated with investigators.
Investigation revealed that the driver of the Jeep was traveling west on Florida Ave., approaching Franklin St. in the number one lane. The driver of the wheelchair was crossing Florida south bound, within or very close to the crosswalk at Franklin St. The driver of the Jeep did not see the wheelchair and was unable to stop before colliding into it.
At this time, it does not appear that the driver of the Jeep was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Florida Ave. was closed between Buena Vista St. and Franklin St. for approximately five hours while officers conducted their investigation.
Press Release Provided By the Hemet Police Department