FALLBROOK – A 32-year-old Chula Vista man was killed in an early morning traffic crash in Fallbrook today that sent five others to a hospital, the California Highway Patrol said.
Alcohol containers were found within and around the spun-out vehicle, which had been struck by a second vehicle, the Medical Examiner’s Office reported.
The Chula Vista man was driving a 2000 Honda Civic with four passengers south on Interstate 15, south of Mission Road, about 3:50 a.m. at a high rate of speed, according to CHP Officer Jim Bettencourt.
The driver veered to the left for an unknown reason and struck the center divider. The car came to a stop facing east in the left southbound lane, Bettencourt said.
The car’s three backseat passengers got out and made their way to the center divider, while the driver and front seat passenger remained in the wrecked Civic, Bettencourt said.
Moments later, a 1997 Isuzu Rodeo driven by a 51-year-old Redlands man, also heading south, struck the disabled Civic’s driver side door, Bettencourt said.
The Civic’s driver was killed on impact and the front seat passenger as well as the Isuzu’s driver sustained major injuries, Bettencourt said. The Civic’s driver was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office, which did not immediately release the man’s name.
Escondido police officers came upon the wreck and called for ambulances and CHP officers.
The Isuzu’s driver and the Civic’s front seat passenger were taken to a hospital to be treated for major injuries along with the three backseat passengers, who were not seriously injured, Bettencourt said.
Bettencourt said the Medical Examiner’s Office would determine if the driver who was killed had been under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash.
Conditions were foggy at the time, and the roadway was left littered with crash debris, CHP officers said.
All lanes were closed on the southbound freeway at Mission Road, where traffic was diverted off and then back onto the route. All debris was removed, the investigation was completed, and the freeway was reopened at 8:13.