Deadly Head-On Crash On State Route 52

Wrong-way driver was killed when his car collided with the Cunningham family's minivan

View Comments ()
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    A mother and her three children were hurt Sunday night when a wrong-way driver struck their car. (Published Monday, Mar 18, 2013)

    A Santee man was killed and a mother and her three children were critically injured in a horrific crash on State Route 52 Sunday.

    Two victims were pulled from the wreckage by fire crews on the eastbound SR-52 just east of Santo Road around 9:30 p.m. Sunday.

    Family Hospitalized in Wrong Way Crash

    [DGO] Family Hospitalized in Wrong Way Crash
    A mother and her three children were hurt Sunday night when a wrong-way driver struck their car. (Published Monday, Mar 18, 2013)

    One of the vehicles burst into flames at the scene, and citizens used fire extinguishers to try to put out the blaze, but the car continued burning, according to the CHP.

    Matthew T. Leonardo, 30, of Santee was killed when his grey Ford sedan collided with a mini-van. California Highway Patrol investigators say Leonardo was driving the wrong way on the highway moments before the crash. 

    Wrong-Way Crash Injures Mom, Kids

    [DGO] Wrong-Way Crash Injures Mom, Kids
    A fiery crash shuts down part of State Route 52. One person is dead and four others are in critical condition. NBC 7's Chris Chan reports. (Published Monday, Mar 18, 2013)

    The family in the minivan was that of Cathedral Catholic High School head basketball coach Will Cunningham, announced the school on Twitter. Cunningham's wife Alisa, a softball pitching coach, and three children ages 17, 12 and 10 were treated by firefighters and quickly transported to area hospitals.

    Victims were transported to Sharp Memorial, UCSD Trauma Center and Rady's Children, according to San Diego Fire Department. A school statement said one of the Cunningham children is in the ICU.

    Neighbor of the Cunningham family Walter Maksimow described the family as close-knit and very athletic. He said there will be a lot of support from the community for the family.

    Investigators said a toxicology report will determine if Leonardo was intoxicated at the time of the crash.

    Officials at Cathedral Catholic High School said they will hold a prayer service Monday for Cunningham family.

    Follow NBC 7 for the latest news, weather, and events: iPad App | iPhone App | Android App | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram | RSS | Text Alerts | Email Alerts