4 Injured in Crash Involving Ariel Atom

A 21-year-old man from Rancho Santa Fe suffered life-threatening injuries after crashing his custom sports car on Christmas Eve.

Three other people were also injured, one of them seriously, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The accident happened just after 2 p.m. Wednesday in the 4400 block of La Orilla in Rancho Santa Fe. CHP said the 21-year-old lost control of his Ariel Atom around a bend and slammed into a Ford Expedition coming the other direction.

The Atom driver and his passenger, a 21-year-old man from Mira Mesa, were both flown to Palomar Hospital with major injuries, according to CHP.

The 62-year-old San Diego man driving the SUV and a woman passenger were taken to Scripps La Jolla with minor to moderate injuries, CHP said.

“This is Christmas Eve. People aren’t supposed to be spending time in hospitals. They’re supposed to be at home getting ready to open presents and spend time with family," said CHP Officer Chris Parent.

Investigators believe the sports car was speeding but could not say if drugs or alcohol were involved.

"Speed is always a factor. Ninety percent of our crashes are unsafe speed-based," Parent said. "So if we can get people to slow down and pay attention and drive safely, that would obviously help all of us.”

La Orilla between El Camino Real and Rambla De Las Flores was closed for several hours after the accident.

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