I-805 Crash Survivor Speaks

The family's Rav-4 overturned onto a concrete divider precariously balancing 30 feet above a Caltrans worksite

A North Park woman who survived a rollover accident on a busy San Diego highway wants help finding the driver who she says caused the crash that killed her mother-in-law and seriously injured several members of her family.

“This lady has no idea just being in a hurry to get where she was going, the turmoil she has caused this family right now," Rebecca Thomas said Friday from Kaiser Zion near Murphy Canyon.

Thomas and her family were on their way to Disneyland two days ago when the family trip took a deadly turn.

The family's Rav-4 was traveling northbound on Interstate 805 in Sorrento Valley around 6:30 a.m. when the vehicle was struck in a chain reaction crash.

The driver of a Nissan Altima swerved to avoid being sideswiped by another car and struck the Rav-4 officials said.

Thomas said her car rolled about 100 feet and landed on a concrete divider balancing 30 feet above a CalTrans worksite.

“There’s no way she didn’t see that in her rear-view mirror,” Thomas said of the driver who cut in front of the Altima.

The suspected hit-and run vehicle, described as a beige or silver Honda sedan by investigators was driving "very erratically" and had an Arizona license plate according to Thomas.

Laura Hall, Thomas' 66-year-old mother-in-law, died from injuries she sustained in the crash. Hall was traveling with the family to see her 8-year-old grandson's first trip to Disneyland.

“Now my son doesn’t get to share that moment with his grandmother because of this woman,” Thomas said of the driver.

Thomas was seated in a wheelchair while she spoke but said she was fortunate and suffered only a bruised knee and some bruising on her arms.

Her family was separated at several area hospitals. Her husband, Brian Thomas, suffered broken ribs, cuts and bruises.  Her son and a 22-year-old passenger were both taken to the hospital with cuts and bruises. She said she expects them to be hospitalized for a few more days.

What she really wants, she says, is to track down the CalTrans workers who rushed to the vehicle in the moments after the crash and helped pull her family to safety.

"They worked diligently, non-stop trying to get my family out of the car until the firefighters go there. They didn’t have to do that," she said. "They were just amazing."

She especially wants to speak with the construction worker who cradled her son and kept him calm.

“Maybe they don’t want to be called heroes but they are angels,” Thomas said.

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