Possible DUI crash on SR 76 near Pala leaves four motorists injured

SAN DIEGO – An investigation was under way today into a suspected drunken driving crash near the Pala Indian Reservation that left two motorists with major injuries and two passengers less seriously injured.

The crash on Highway 76, near Rice Canyon Road, occurred about 8:50 p.m. Wednesday as one of the drivers attempted to overtake slower traffic by going into an opposing lane, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Jim Bettencourt.

Robert Gresham, 24, of Hesperia, was headed eastbound in his Toyota Tacoma when he drove into a westbound lane and collided head-on with a 48-year- old San Diego man driving a Mercedes E350, Bettencourt said in a statement.

Both drivers suffered major injuries, he said, adding that front-seat passengers in both their vehicles suffered moderate injuries.

Medics took both drivers and their passengers to Palomar Medical Center in Escondido.

The front-seat passengers in both vehicles were males, according to Bettencourt. Their ages and places of residence were not immediately released.

Alcohol was believed to be a factor in the crash, Bettencourt said.

2 Responses to "Possible DUI crash on SR 76 near Pala leaves four motorists injured"

  1. concerned   November 8, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    WILL The agressive drivers ever stop,,,,will they ever learn,,,that the roads do not belong to them,,,,,85percent of the motorist need a refresher course in driving,,,,all the things they teach you in driving school,,,is for defensive purposes,,,,when we get in a car the object is to get from point A to point B safely,,,,,,,85 percnt of accidents are not accidents they are avoidable,,,,,,its always the same people that drive this way,,,its not drugs or drinking as much as high speed and recklessness,,,,,Sorry to be long winded about this ,,,but I am sick of this

  2. 76 Driver   November 8, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    I wish CALTRANS would consider widening/straightening this stretch of 76 between I-15 and the Pala Casino. It is one of the most dangerous/curvy roads in the county and, with the increased traffic from the casinos (including drivers who have been drinking), it has become extremely treacherous – especially at night. It will only get worse as the casinos expand/grow (Harrah’s is expanding significantly as well as Valley Center and Pauma is attempting to expand). In fact, the Pala, Pauma, and Rincon tribes should foot part/most of the bill for improving this stretch of road as the increase in traffic (and impaired drivers) is due to the traffic to their casinos. How many more accidents/deaths will it take before action is taken?


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