A driver was injured Tuesday night in a high-speed rollover crash in Santee, according to California Highway Patrol officials.
The crash happened around 6:45 p.m. on northbound State Route 125 at Mission Gorge Road, right at the very end of the freeway – an intersection prone to accidents.
CHP officials said a car occupied by one person came down SR-125 at a high rate of speed, driving through the intersection and over the curb at about 60 mph.
Officials said the vehicle rolled over several times and ended up about half a football field into the open space off the road.
The driver became trapped inside the car and had to be extricated by emergency crews using the Jaws of Life. He was transported to Sharp Memorial Hospital via Mercy Air with critical injuries,
No other vehicles were involved in the collision.
Traffic Sgt. Scott Hill with the Santee Sheriff's Station said the vehicle went over a berm at the end of the roadway, flipped and landed on the other side.
Sgt. Hill said it appears the driver went straight through the berm without braking at all as he came through the intersection.
Authorities closed down Mission Gorge Road at SR-125 immediately following the crash. By 9 p.m., CHP officials had issued a SigAlert, and lanes one and two remained closed to traffic.
The San Diego County Sheriff's Department is now handling the investigation and officials expect to be on scene for several hours gathering evidence.
Sgt. Hill said the driver will be evaluated for DUI, as first-arriving deputies suspected smelling alcohol inside the vehicle.
Sgt. Hill said that busy Santee intersection has seen many DUI-related crashes, as drivers don't realize the freeway is coming to an end. Officials said they respond to a DUI crash there about once every six months.
This is also the same roadway where a CHP officer and three of his family members died back in 2009 when their car crashed moments after they called 911 to report that their accelerator had become stuck.