Man driving sedan killed as speeding car falls onto railroad tracks

CAMP PENDLETON – A man driving a sedan was killed when his speeding car veered off the right hand shoulder while southbound on the Santa Ana (5) Freeway south of the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant in north San Diego County and fell onto railroad tracks where it was hit by a train, a California Highway Patrol officer said.

The accident began to unfold after 9 p.m., when the 1997 Honda sedan was southbound on the San Diego Freeway south of Cristianitos Road, ”at a high rate of speed in and out of traffic,” CHP Officer Jim Bettencourt said.

The driver tried to merge left from the far right lane into the next lane at the same time as another vehicle and veered to the right off the shoulder, Bettencourt said.

He was ”launched off the freeway and literally 10 seconds later a train comes and hits the car head-on, cutting the car in half,” he said. The driver was ejected and died at the scene,” Bettencourt said.

The front of the car stayed with the train, which may have been traveling at 65 to 70 mph and stopped about a mile from the crash site, Bettencourt said. The rest remained at the crash site.

”Train 1790, the Pacific Surfliner from San Luis Obispo to San Diego, struck a vehicle at about 9:13 p.m.,” Amtrak spokeswoman Christina Leeds said. ”There were no reported injuries to passengers or crew members.”

There were 285 passengers aboard the Amtrak train, Bettencourt said.

The train remained at the crash scene for the investigation, and passengers and crew members remained on board, Leeds said. Another train was going to pull up alongside 1790 to pick up passengers and make the remaining stops. Passengers set to leave San Diego aboard Train 595 would be given alternate transportation, she said.

The car was registered to a 24-year-old man with ”several cities of residence,” Bettencourt said, including Squaw Valley and Costa Mesa.

”You hear the saying, ‘Speed kills,’ well, this is the type of thing that can happen,” Bettencourt said.

10 Responses to "Man driving sedan killed as speeding car falls onto railroad tracks"

  1. don't   September 9, 2013 at 10:18 am

    This is what happens when you try to mimick "Fast and The Furious" – doesn’t really work out, does it? Nice going Honda driver. But in the end, I think the other drivers are better off with this wreckless driver off of the road now.

  2. @ don't   September 9, 2013 at 11:44 am

    I dont understand how some people can be so cold and merciless. Nobody deserves to die like this. Shame on you for being so insensitive. A human life was lost, show some respect to the family and keep your negative remarks to yourself. This young man obviously showed negligence but it doesn’t give anyone a right to be so judgmental. It’s people like you who go through life always pointing your finger when in reality you really just need to address your own issues. Nobody is perfect so get over yourself.

  3. Tim   September 9, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    I am sorry. Dumb things happen to dumb people. Period.

  4. grunt   September 9, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    @"@don’t" while I understand your sentiments; a life was not "lost" it was thrown away. Had a crew-member of passenger of the train been killed, that life would have been "lost". You/we can mourn this person; but nothing Don’t said is merciless.

  5. Me   September 9, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    Well said grunt.

  6. A.H.   September 10, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Free speech people! There will always be negativity so why feed into it? Worry about number 1 and those you care about. Make a difference in your circle and it will grow to positively effect others. Be Positive, it is not easy to do! I.E. Grunt 🙂

  7. Just Me   September 10, 2013 at 11:47 am

    But I don’t respect anyone like this driver who risks the lives of others for nothing but a thrill. World is better off without him, happy ending.

  8. @just me   September 10, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    You do realize you’re judging someone’s whole life on a news article you read?

  9. SB   September 10, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    Whatever the cause or reason, this must be so sad for the young man’s family and friends. Thank goodness no more were hurt or killed.

  10. Ms. Logic   September 10, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    Everyone has a right to kill themselves but they don’t have a right to endanger innocent people in the process. On to the next case…


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