A woman died and a father and his 11-year-old son were injured when a vehicle went over an embankment on State Route 76 near Pala Casino Resort overnight, leaving them stranded until they could call 911 Friday morning.
The California Highway Patrol was called to assist in the search for the family and their small dog at about 6:15 a.m. Friday but it's unclear how long they had been there or exactly how the crash occurred, said CHP spokesperson Officer Mark Latulippe.
The crash, which ejected all three passengers from the vehicle into grassy brush, had knocked the man unconscious and it wasn't until he awoke that he was able to call 911 for help, according to authorities.
Since the man wasn't sure of his exact location, CHP officers and deputies with the San Diego County Sheriff's Department launched a search for the vehicle -- even utilizing a drone -- along SR-76 between Palomar Mountain and Oceanside, CHP said.
The vehicle, a Subaru, was located within about 30 minutes in the Wilderness Gardens Preserve about 300 feet down a steep embankment along the roadway.
The family was located but, unfortunately, a woman in her 30s was declared dead at the scene. CHP did not specify her relationship to the father and son.
The father and son both sustained major injuries, CHP said. The boy was taken by air ambulance to Rady Children's Hospital while the father was taken to Palomar Medical Center. Both are expected to recover.
The family had a dog with them at the time of the crash. As of Friday afternoon, CHP and San Diego County Animal Control officers were still searching for the dog.
An investigation into the crash is ongoing. CHP said impairment is not believed to be a factor.
No other information was available.