San Diego

Man Dies After SUV Crashes With Tree in El Cajon, Bursts Into Flames

A man died Friday morning after his SUV crashed into a tree along a center median El Cajon and burst into flames. 

The vehicle was engulfed in flames and man was trapped inside when first responders arrived to Fletcher Parkway and Navajo Road at about 2:20 a.m., the El Cajon Police Department said. 

Alaina Orozco-Cole, 8, captured the devastating crash on video moments as her mother, Elizabeth Orozco, called 911 to report the crash. 

"So guys, there's a fire; someone's in the car and there's literally a fire," she can be heard on video saying through tears. 

A child began recording the moments after an SUV went up in flames in El Cajon.

Police believe the vehicle drifted as it was heading westbound on Fletcher Parkway. After striking the raised center median, the SUV crashed into a tree and caught fire, which spread to the tree, ECPD said. 

Heartland Fire Department crews doused both with water until it was out but the man inside could not be saved. He was pronounced dead at the scene. 

"It’s heartbreaking knowing we couldn’t help him out, get him out of the car," Orozco said. 

Orozco said her daughter was distraught and the two had to talk about what they saw. 

"She wants to actually talk to the family, the victim’s family, to tell them she’s sorry that she couldn’t save them," Orozco said.

No other vehicles were believed to be involved in the crash and the cause remains under investigation. It was not clear if drugs or alcohol were believed to be a factor. 

Fletcher Parkway between Navajo Road and Catham Road was closed in both directions through the morning due to ECPD's ongoing investigation. 

Anyone who believes they have information on the crash was asked to call (619) 579-3311.

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