Eastvale – A 70-year-old man from Eastvale was killed after a hit and run collision on February 16.
At around 6:35 p.m. that Thursday evening, Daniel Beavers was attempting to cross the street on the intersection of Sumner Ave. and 68th Street when a black Mercedes-Benz SUV hit him at an underdetermined speed. The driver of the SUV allegedly fled the scene after the impact.
Witnesses called 911 immediately and one resident said he followed the SUV to attempt to get her license plate. Deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office, Jurupa Valley Station, arrived on-scene and immediately began rendering medical aid to Beavers when they found him. However, despite life-saving efforts, Beavers was pronounced deceased at the scene at around 7:10 p.m.
Deputies located the suspect on Mission Boulevard, who was later identified as Cathie Jiaping Lee, 56. She was arrested and booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center on charges of 20001 CVC – Hit & Run w/ Injury. At the time, intoxication did not appear to be a factor in this incident, according to the news release.
The Sheriff’s Department closed the northbound and southbound traffic lanes of Sumner Ave. after the incident, between 68th Street and Schleisman Road.
As news reports were released to social media, the community shared wonderful stories of Mr. Beavers in the comments. They said he was a joyous man who was always smiling, kind to everyone he met, and who loved serving at his church every Sunday. He also loved his wife and children dearly. Many in the community said he would be deeply missed and shared that they would be praying for the family.
However, on the City’s Facebook post, many residents expressed their frustration with the speeding and distracted driving throughout Eastvale. They said the area between Sumner and 68th is also very dark and only has stop signs, so residents shared that a traffic light is needed in this intersection and they hoped this incident will push to obtain one.
The news release of the collision circled other local Facebook group pages and the community expressed their dissatisfaction of Lee being released on bail early Friday morning. Then, residents shared that Lee was actually spotted at the City’s Lantern Festival last week, where she sang several songs on stage. Residents were outraged that Lee hit and killed a man, fled the scene, but she still showed up to perform at a City event just a few days after.
On a Facebook post, Mayor Todd Rigby commented to address the concern: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Beaver family during this difficult time. Regarding the performance of an individual at the Lantern Festival, the event promoter, Panana Events was in charge of and coordinated all entertainment. As most performances were group performances, Panana Events or the City did not receive individual performers names within each group. As the city was notified of a concern regarding a potential individual performer within a group, the City nor Riverside Sheriff’s Department were able to 100% identify that performer. As this is a very tragic event that has occurred in our city, we trust that the court system will bring justice to the person responsible. We thank Riverside Sheriff’s Department for keeping our community safe during this event.”
Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to call Deputy Packer of the Jurupa Valley Sheriff’s Station at 951-955-2600 or the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department at 951-776-1099.