San Diego Fire Rescue

CHP Searching for Woman Who Left After Deadly Crash Off I-5

The car landed upside down in the river with at least one person inside. Sidnie Waller was completely submerged in water, and trapped inside the vehicle, when rescue crews arrived

Rescue after crash off of I-5
San Diego Fire-Rescue Department

The California Highway Patrol is asking for the public's help finding a woman who they said left the scene after her vehicle veered off Interstate 5 and landed upside down in water on March 4, trapping one person inside who later died.

Investigators think the woman may have been given a ride by a good Samaritan who didn't realize she had just been in a serious car accident. She was likely drenched after the BMW she was in ended up in the Tecolote Creek underneath Interstate 5 and was probably seen by several motorists when she walked up onto the freeway, investigators believe.

Another woman in the car that night died in the hospital after suffering catastrophic injuries, the medical examiner's office said earlier this month.

Sidnie Waller of San Martin, California, was a passenger in the car when it veered off I-5 and landed upside down in the creek near Sea World Drive. She was completely submerged when medics arrived and pulled her from the vehicle, according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

Medics gave Waller CPR, eventually taking her to the hospital. Due to the severity of her injuries, however, she died three days later at the UC San Diego Medical Center.

The medical examiner said Waller died from loss of blood flow to her brain caused by cardiac arrest due to drowning. A blunt force injury to her head was listed as a contributing factor.

A GoFundMe page created by loved ones to support Waller's family said she "fought long and hard to beat this battle, but due to the severity of the injuries inflicted upon her as a result of the accident, she wasn’t able to keep fighting."

According to the ME's report, the car Waller was in was speeding when it veered off of the offramp at Sea World Drive. It's not known if drugs or alcohol were considered factors in the crash.

The CHP did say on Friday, though, that the women were believed to have been at Open Bar and the Baja Beach Cafe prior to the crash.

Anyone with information about the crash or the women's activities that night prior to the crash is being urged to contact the California Highway Patrol at (858) 293-6000.

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