A young woman is dead after a two-vehicle crash near the San Diego Zoo's Safari Park Friday night, authorities confirmed.
The collision happened just past 7:30 p.m. at San Pasqual Valley Road and San Pasqual Road near the Wild Animal Park.
Officials from the San Diego Police Department, Escondido Fire Department, San Diego Fire Rescue and California Highway Patrol responded to the scene.
Authorities said a 20-year-old woman was driving her Ford Mustang westbound on San Pasqual Road when she swerved into eastbound traffic and was T-boned by a Ford Explorer.
According to Sgt. Jim Reschke, the female driver of the Mustang struck a dead deer that was already lying down in the roadway. She then panicked, lost control of her vehicle and fishtailed into eastbound traffic, Reschke told NBC 7.
Reschke said that based on the damage to the front of the Mustang, investigators believe the deer was already on the ground when the driver hit it.
Officials are still investigating details surrounding the accident, but do not believe alcohol or drugs played a factor in the crash.
Authorities said medics transported the woman to Palomar Medical Center.
However, despite aggressive efforts to save her life, Reschke confirmed she was pronounced dead at 7:50 p.m., en route to the hospital.
Reschke said the driver would’ve been 21 years old next month. Her name has not yet been released.
Two occupants inside the Ford Explorer involved in the collision sustained minor injuries. Police said they were able to get the driver of the Mustang out of her car and began administering CPR while waiting for emergency crews to arrive.
A large portion of San Pasqual Valley Road was closed down as officials conducted their investigation. As of 8:45 p.m., the road closure was expected to last approximately three more hours.
A SigAlert was issued for State Route 78, which was closed in both directions until further notice. Officers provided traffic control in the area.
Check back for updates.