A young man was seriously injured early Wednesday morning after he slammed his car into a tree in Alpine, officials said.
The accident happened just before 4 a.m. in the 2700 block of South Grade Road, just south of Interstate 8. For unknown reasons, the driver lost control and veered off the road, plowing into a small ditch and part of a fence.
He then smashed into a large tree, where the vehicle finally came to a rest.
Firefighters had to break part of the fence in order to chip away at the wreckage. Crews were able to pull the driver from the vehicle and he was taken by helicopter to a hospital.
Alpine resident Mike Eldred lives next to the site of the crash and said the collision was extremely loud and woke him from his sleep.
When he went outside to investigate the commotion, Eldred said he saw the car wreck and couldn’t believe it. He immediately called 911, saying he thought the driver was dead.
The young man – possibly in his late teens – sustained very serious injuries, officials said.
The crash is under investigation. California Highway Patrol officials said they found open beer cans inside the car so they believe alcohol likely played a factor.
No other cars were involved in the crash.