Baby Survives SUV Plunge Down 150-Foot Embankment

The Jeep's driver approached a slow-moving vehicle, slammed on the brakes and lost control, officials said

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A female driver was killed after veering off the I-8 and into an embankment in the East County. Her passengers -- a man and a baby - survived the crash. NBC 7's Danya Bacchus reports live from the scene. (Published Wednesday, Mar 12, 2014)

    A baby survived a highway rollover crash where an SUV plunged down a 150-foot embankment in San Diego's East County Wednesday, officials confirmed.

    Lindsey Michelle Woods, 21, from Alpine was killed in the single-vehicle crash just before 5:30 p.m. off Interstate 8, near the 400-block of Peutz Valley Road.

    Woods' 21-year-old passenger was rushed to the Sharp Memorial Hospital by Mercy Air with injuries to his arms and chest, one witness told NBC 7. Officials described his injuries as life-threatening.

    California Highway Patrol officials said the Jeep Cherokee was traveling eastbound on I-8 at about 70 mph when it swerved off the freeway and onto an embankment below.

    Witnesses said that when the Jeep approached a slow-moving vehicle, the driver slammed on the brakes and lost control of the Jeep.

    Emergency crews rushed to the scene to treat the driver and passengers inside the Jeep, which also included an 18-month-old baby boy, who all became trapped inside the vehicle following the rollover.

    Woods succumbed to her injuries at the scene.

    Resident Terry Ulmer witnessed the aftermath of the accident. He said he didn’t even get his vehicle out of the garage but instead jumped on his quad and rushed to help the crash victims. When he got there, he was able to comfort the injured man.

    “I asked him where it was hurting. He was telling me it was a right arm, left arm, his chest, he was bleeding from his chest and the top of his arm,” Ulmer told NBC 7.

    By 6 p.m., officials confirmed the man and baby had been extricated from the car.

    The baby was secured in a safety seat in the middle of the backseat at the time of the crash and was not seriously injured, officials said.

    "The baby was calm. The baby was healthy," Ulmer said. "The baby seemed intact and pretty responsive."

    He went back and told the injured man that the baby boy was okay.

    He regrets not being able to talk with Woods to tell her the baby was unharmed.

    "I feel bad that I didn't go around to that side and at least find out her status and at least pray for her," Ulmer said.   

    CHP officials said speed was the cause of the rollover. The deadly accident remains under investigation, and officials do not believe alcohol or drugs contributed to the crash.

    "Definitely an excess of the speed limit, the witnesses didn't have an exact speed but they were definitely passing all of the vehicles," said CHP Sgt. Jim McNamara.