A San Diego man said he and his co-worker feel lucky to be alive after a car struck their work vehicle and pushed it off the highway at a high-rate of speed.
The collision took place just before 8 p.m. in the southbound lanes of Interstate 5 near Carlsbad Village Drive.
Edward Olvera was riding to work with his partner when he said a car struck their truck from behind.
“We hit the guardrail pretty hard and flipped over it. The next thing you know we’re tumbling along and we’re landing upside down,” Olvera said.
CHP officers say a BMW driven by Aaron Sanchez, 30, from Vista struck the Ford utility truck. Both vehicles drove down an embankment and into an apartment complex parking lot located along Pine in Carlsbad.
Both the truck engine and another vehicle's engine caught fire, Olvera said.
He was unable to open his truck door but could slide out of the window. His partner was stuck in the driver’s seat, unable to unbuckle his seatbelt, so Olvera reached back in to try and help.
“’C’mon we gotta get out, get out,'" he recalls yelling to his partmer. "We were both in panic mode.”
Olvera and the driver managed to escape without major injuries. Having just celebrated his 31st birthday, Olvera said he is grateful he was able to make it out alive.
“Lucky to be alive and happy to be alive,” he said.
The BMW driver was taken to Scripps La Jolla Hospital with major injuries, officials said.
According to CHP, witnesses said the BMW was traveling at high speeds in and out of traffic before the collision. Officers said alcohol may have been a factor but the investigation is ongoing.
Two vehicles that were parked in the parking lot sustained minor damage as a result of the collision, officials said.