Pacific Beach

1 Dead After SUV Flies Off I-5, Lands Upside Down Near Pacific Beach

The car went over a guard rail and flipped several times before landing upside down on Garnet Avenue below

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An SUV flew off Interstate 5 and landed upside down on a Pacific Beach road killing one person and injuring a second Tuesday afternoon.

The Toyota RAV 4 was found on its roof in the 3000 block of Garnet Avenue, on the east side of the I-5 overpass around 1:45 p.m., the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department said.

Witness reports to California Highway Patrol said the driver somehow flew off I-5 and landed below on the busy Garnet Avenue just before rush hour.

The driver was headed northbound on I-5 and, for an unknown reason, took a hard right and went over the guard rail, CHP officer Salvador Castro said.

The car flipped several times before landing upside down on the street below.

NBC 7's Gaby Rodriguez is in El Cajon where police are investigating.

The driver, a man in his mid-50s, was confirmed dead at the scene, Castro said. A second person was injured and was taken to a local hospital.

A witness who wished to be identified only as Jeff said the SUV was rolling over as it climbed the guard rail and then went airborne. Kevin thought it would eventually land in his auto shop lobby.

Jeff and his crew rushed to help the driver, but said it was difficult to find him in the wreck because the SUV was filled with personal belongings.

The SUV also hit an electric box at some point, which became airborne and slammed into a white sedan on Garnet Avenue. The driver of the sedan was not injured but felt lucky to be alive.

"I didn’t really know that a car was coming down the hill," the driver, Nick Murray said. "I just heard a big bang when something hit the side of the car and then I looked over and this RAV was upside down.

"Yeah, I'm just happy to be alive."

Investigators said it was not immediately clear if drugs or alcohol were a factor in the crash.

San Diego Police Department urged drivers on Garnet and Balboa Avenue to avoid the area. Garnet Avenue was closed from the Mission Bay Drive intersection to the Moraga Avenue intersection.

No other information was available.

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