Driver Dies After Car Runs Into 2 Homes

One home was deemed unstable, forcing the family inside to find somewhere else to stay

By Andie Adams and Matt Rascon
|  Sunday, Jun 15, 2014  |  Updated 3:29 PM PDT
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A man is dead and a family displaced after a car goes crashing through the corner of a house. NBC 7's Matt Rascon reports.

A man is dead and a family displaced after a car goes crashing through the corner of a house. NBC 7's Matt Rascon reports.

A man is dead and a family displaced after a car smashed into two Chula Vista homes Saturday, authorities told NBC 7. 

Around 5:30 p.m., the man was driving eastbound in a westbound lane of East J Street at around 60 miles per hour, blowing through the intersection of Hilltop Drive, Chula Vista Police say.

Suddenly, his car veered to the left up the curb, tore through a fence, struck the corner of a house and took a chunk of the home with it in the 600 block of Carla Avenue.

The vehicle's trajectory continued as the driver then slammed into a second home. 

"You just hear a big bang, and it stopped," said neighbor Daniel Joronen. 

"You could tell he was bad -- like he was hurt real bad," he added.

The man, identified as 52-year-old Curtiss Allen Welch by the Medical Examiner's Office, was pronounced dead at the scene.

People living in the first home were not inside at the time, but their house was deemed unstable. They were asked to find somewhere else to stay for now.

Those in the second house were not injured.

The fatal crash shut down the Carla Avenue and East J Street intersection -- just across the street from Hilltop Middle School -- for hours.

Maria Elena Simon, who was walking in the area, said the one consolation was that the street wasn't busy. 

"I'm always wondering if I'll ever get hit because I hear of all these accidents happening on this street," said Simon. 

As for the cause, Chula Vista Police say high speed driving is a suspected factor in the crash, though they say medical reasons could be at play as well. 

"We all speed a little bit, but when you do it in a residential area, you take a risk," Joronen said.

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