Chula Vista

Victim in Chula Vista Wrong-Way, Multi-Car Crash Was Veteran, New Father

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A man killed Saturday morning in a multi-car crash involving a wrong-way driver in Chula Vista has been identified by his family as a 23-year-old father and Army veteran.

David Ramirez, 23, was killed in the crash, according to his father, Leopoldo Ramirez. When the elder Ramirez first heard about the accident he tried to call his son.

His calls went unanswered so he raced to the scene of the crash on southbound Interstate 5 and L Street in Chula Vista.

“I thought in my head, if that’s my son’s car, definitely he’s one of the dead ones because it was hit head on. It was hit from the side and it looked like the car rolled over a couple of times,” Leopoldo Ramirez said.

California Highway Patrol received a call at around 5 a.m. reporting a wrong-way driver going northbound in southbound lanes of Interstate 5 at SR-905. Minutes later a witness reported a collision near L street, CHP Officer Salvador Castro said.

NBC 7's Ramon Galindo is in Chula Vista where he has the latest details on the crash.

Leopoldo Ramirez said he took a photo of the accident scene and sent it to another son who confirmed the families worst fears after seeing several red work shirts and a frisbee strewn on the freeway.

“A green frisbee that he carries with him all the time because he used to go to the pier in Imperial Beach and would play frisbee at the park,” said Leopoldo Ramirez.

David Ramirez served in the Army for four years as a communications specialist, his father said. He was also a young father, whose daughter Vhictoria was born last October.

David Ramirez had just been promoted to a managerial position at Five Guys in Hillcrest and was studying criminal justice.

The elder Ramirez said the family is struggling to come to terms with their grief.

“I can tell you that it’s something you don’t want anyone else to feel because you can’t describe it. One of my boys is gone. It’s a very sad thing,” Leopoldo Ramirez said.

As of Monday afternoon, the CHP did not have any updates on their investigation. A spokesperson said investigators still do not know who the wrong-way driver was.

The Ramirez family has set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for funeral expenses. A viewing and ceremony is scheduled from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at 640 10th Street in Imperial Beach.

A second victim in the accident, a female, still has not been publicly identified.

Two others sustained major injuries and were transported to UC San Diego Medical Center.

At least seven cars were involved in the crash, CHP said.

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