2 Dead After Car Crashes Down Embankment on Old Highway 395 Near Fallbrook

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Two people died after crashing down an embankment outside of Fallbrook on Sunday afternoon, California Highway Patrol and North County Fire Protection District said.

The driver and passenger, identified days later as 42-year-old Rico Burley of Fallbrook, and a 39-year-old April Dawn Wigand from Oceanside died after they were thrown from their sports car that crashed on Old Highway 395 near Reche Road at about 2:10 p.m. on Sunday.

The driver was in southbound lanes and attempted to pass other vehicles by crossing into northbound lanes, but, oncoming traffic was approaching and to avoid getting hit, the driver swerved back into southbound lanes, according to the Medical Examiner's Office.

That's when the vehicle lost control and went down a 30-foot ravine, crashing into a large tree, the California Highway Patrol said.

Both people were ejected from the car and pronounced dead at the scene, North County Fire spokesperson John Choi said.

California Highway Patrol was handling the investigation. It was unknown if alcohol or drugs were factors in the crash.

CHP closed Old Highway 395 from Reche Road to about a half-mile south of the intersection. Lanes reopened around 6:30 p.m.

No other information was available.

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