Driver in Double Fatal Crash Had Been Taking Shots, Smoking Before Crash: CHP

One car went over the guardrail and the other was overturned on its side in the crash.

The driver of a Saturn involved in a double fatal crash Sunday morning had been drinking, doing shots and smoking marijuana before the crash, California Highway Patrol officials told NBC7. 

The crash happened at approximately 4:55 a.m. Sunday on Wildcat Canyon Road near Barona Casino in Lakeside, when two cars crashed head-on. 

The CHP said the crash involved five people total. The driver of the Toyota Camry, a 42-year-old man from El Cajon, was seriously injured and has been in and out of surgery all day, officials said. A passenger survived with major injuries. 

24-year-old driver Geordan Dunkle and 26-year-old passenger Greg Drunkle, both of Spring Valley, were in the Saturn. They died from injuries sustained in the crash. A third passenger sitting in the back seat survived the crash with major injuries and was taken to the hospital. 

CHP officials said the driver of the Saturn swerved into the wrong lane after a night of drinking. The passenger in the backseat told CHP officials the Saturn was heading to Barona Casino.

CHP said they found open beer cans, containers with alcohol in them and marijuana in the Saturn. 

In the last year, NBC7 counted at least four other crashes on the same road. In most cases, the CHP said, accidents that have occurred on Wildcat Canyon Road were preventable.

"I wouldn't consider Wildcat Canyon Road a dangerous road, I would consider a lot of activities people are doing while on it dangerous," said Kevin Pearlstein, the public information officer for the CHP's El Cajon division. "Speeding, passing double yellows, playing on their phones, and drinking and driving or using drugs prior to driving."

The County recently added rumble strips and widened the lanes to make the road safer. 

The road was closed in both directions as CHP officials worked on scene.

The crash remains under investigation. 

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