Man fatally struck in middle of Highway 76 in Pauma Valley

PAUMA VALLEY – An investigation is underway today into the death of a 65-year-old man who was struck by a car while lying down in the middle of Highway 76 in Pauma Valley.

Officers and medical personnel were called to eastbound Highway 76, east of Adams Drive, at 7:11 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Jim Bettencourt.

Once there, they learned a 61-year-old Escondido woman driving her 2007 Lexus ES350 about 50 miles per hour struck the man in the middle of eastbound lanes, Bettencourt said in a statement.

The man lived just east of the scene and the county coroner’s office was investigating whether he suffered any medical issues prior to being struck, the officer said. He was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the coroner.

The woman waited at the scene for authorities and was not expected to face any criminal charges, Bettencourt said.

18 Responses to "Man fatally struck in middle of Highway 76 in Pauma Valley"

  1. A 53 Year old Grandma   January 21, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    What a horrible sad story :/ God bless his soul and give his friends and family peace during this difficult time.

  2. Lee   January 21, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    THIS is what happens when our "terrific" politicians and casinos do not plan ahead properly by stuffing a bunch of casinos here without expanding the necessary infrastructure to go with it, i.e., widened roads.

    This, as are ALL accidents on the 76, are on the conscience of our local politicians and casino executives! Or in other words, money is the root of all evil.

  3. country girl   January 21, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    My thoughts are with the women who hit this man. What a horrible thing for her. My prayers are with all parties involved.

  4. REALLY LEE???   January 21, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    Yeah, it’s cause there is a casino there that he was lying in the road and got ran over. Use your (assumed) brain, possibly he was crossing the street and had a heart attack and fell into the street…there are so many possible scenarios. The article states he did not live far from the scene, you do not know why he was crossing the street you just assume it has something to do with the casino? I have ocean front property in Oklahoma for you if you are interested!

  5. PalomarTom   January 21, 2013 at 5:32 pm


    The guy was laying in the street. Your logic is kind of like 1 + 2 = oyster.

  6. grunt   January 21, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    sounds like a possible suicide to me – or as #4 says some medical reason – doubt it was due to the casinos. Oh, maybe he got drunk at one, was walking home and the driver was heading to one. That is the only way I see the casino involed

  7. fallbrook mama   January 21, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    Money is not the root of all evil, the love of money is. Do not misquote scripture…..casinos have nothing to do with this. Lying in the middle of the road is the root cause of this terrible accident.

  8. Fallbrook One   January 21, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    Lee, what the heck! Don’t know your age, or anything about you other than your IQ is probably not on any kind of genius level. How does a guy lying in the road and getting run over equal the casinos are at fault? This poor man and the woman who hit him are where your focus should be. I can’t imagine what the woman must feel like, my prayers are with her and the man’s family. Sad situation.

  9. He may have been dead due to natural causes before she hit him   January 22, 2013 at 7:54 am

    He may have been dead due to natural causes before she hit him

  10. Joe   January 22, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Listen- I live here in Pauma Valley and grew up in the area. Casinos usually DO have something to do with these problems. Could it have been from being old, drunk, etc? Yes, but the casinos brought in so many lower income gambling addicts that they do not even have a way to get home after gambling, thus the walking down dangerous country roads. Either way, sad thing to have happen. Oh, and I am 99% sure that 61 year old woman with a 2007 Lexus was driving to the casinos and didn’t know the road. A local would have a better chance of reacting in time.

  11. Pink   January 22, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    While I agree that the roads going to and from the casinos can be treacherous, and I wouldn’t drive them at night for any amount of money, I don’t see how that poor man laying in the middle of the road can be the casinos fault. Sounds like he may have been crossing the road to his home and had a possible heart attack or perhaps he had been hit by someone else before being ran over by the other car. I’m sure the medical examiner can tell. Whatever happened to him, it is a tragedy for his family and I am sorry.

  12. @Joe   January 22, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    Joe, it was dark, the speed limit is 50-55, the man was laying in the road. Even a person with quick reflexes would not have seen him in time to stop, even if he was wearing a bright orange reflective vest.

  13. Mom of lots   January 22, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    It sounds like a suicide. In the dark, laying down in the middle of the road. This lady could not have reacted faster wether she knew the road or not…dark and winding roads give you very little time and this man knew that. I hope I am wrong. Either way, God bless the man killed and the woman who accidently ran into him, especially the man’s family.

  14. Compassion, Politics, & Casinos   January 23, 2013 at 6:28 am

    My heart goes out to the families involved.

    Yes, I agree..There should be a stipulation stating, before a casino is built, the Indian Tribe who is building said casino, MUST provide & finish road improvements (widening 2-4 lanes, additional traffic signals, & emergency lanes) and street upgrades (STREET LIGHTS, curbs, center-divide) to accommodate the expected increase in traffic & finish the improvements BEFORE casino construction begins.

    Now, I know a lot of you are sayin’, "those improvements will ruin the country side & the east county way of life" etc..

    Yes, perhaps it will, and that would suck.

    If I owned property near an Indian Reservation, I would think about selling. If there is no casino today, there sure will be one built tomorrow.

    Ever think about getting into politics?
    I’d sure vote for you. LEE…LEE…LEE…LEE…LEE!

  15. @thecasinoblamers   January 24, 2013 at 11:48 am

    This is not the fault of the casinos. We should be updated with the results from the autosopsy/toxicology report. This is a tragedy.

    I’m sure the driver didn’t set out that day to go killing a pedestrian. I’m also sure that the pedestrian didn’t set out that day to lie down in the middle of the road, and get slammed by a car either.

    Yes, accidents do happen. My heart goes out to the family of the victim. And to the driver whose life will never be the same.

  16. Bear   January 24, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    I have lived in Pauma for most of my life and this was just a plain freak accident period. It is not the blame of the casino’s, they cannot keep tabs on everyone that goes there….GET REAL! That area has been the site of many accidents (before the casinos existed) simply because of the curvy road and usually rain that made the road slick. It sounds like the man was either drunk and passed out there or passed out/died from medical reasons. My heart goes out to his family and the poor woman who ran him over by ACCIDENT. If you have a beef with the casinos try being more believable in your rantings. There are plenty of signs on the road to display upcoming curves, etc. If the drivers don’t want to abide by the speed laws, then blame the drivers……GET REAL!

  17. Lee   January 24, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    #14 Compassion, Politics & Casinos

    Yes, that thought (entering politics) has crossed my mind. I appreciate your compliment!

  18. beverly   March 13, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    thank you everyone for your comments. I am Danny’s wife, the man that was hit was my husband of 35 years. The medical examiner said that he had a seizure while crossing that hwy. He was a very sick man with diabetes, parkinson’s and man other medical issues. Thank you for all your kind comments and no he wasn’t drunk


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