Residents heading out early Sunday morning, May 8, on Railroad Canyon Rd. were turned back at Canyon Hills Rd. due to an early morning crash that split a car in half and claimed the life of a former Murrieta Mesa graduate.
According to a Riverside County Sheriff’s Department press release, the incident was reported 12:23 a.m. This investigation revealed an illegal street race occurred on Railroad Canyon Rd. on May 8, leading up to the collision. Treated and arrested at the scene was the driver of the wrecked vehicle, Ricky Koesy, 18, of Menifee. Arrested later at his home was Jacob Frederickson, 19, of Murrieta.
According to police, the vehicles were traveling westbound on Railroad Canyon Rd. in Lake Elsinore. While engaged in the illegal street race, Koesy lost control of his vehicle and struck a light pole 400 feet east of Church Rd. The car split in half and debris scattered across both sides of the road.
A passenger in Koesy’s vehicle, Joseph Paul Castro Jr., a 19-year-old from Las Vegas, was killed as a result of the collision. The report indicated that the driver and two other passengers were treated at the scene for minor injuries.
A post on social media reported that Castro was a 2015 graduate of Murrieta Mesa High School. Another post on social media indicated that a group of girls in a separate vehicle witnessed the accident from behind and called 9-1-1.
The Lake Elsinore Police Traffic Team investigated the scene for more than eight hours. During their investigation, Railroad Canyon was closed between Grape St. and Canyon Hills Rd., reopening shortly after 8:30 a.m. Sunday.