A DUI suspect will likely face a felony manslaughter charge in the death of his passenger, killed after the suspect plowed into a tree in Escondido.
The driver lost control of his Mazda 3 at around 2:40 a.m. Friday at North Broadway and Paso Del Norte, veering off the roadway and striking a tree, California Highway Patrol Sgt. Curtis Martin confirmed. Witnesses heard the loud crash and called 911.
Passersby came upon the wreckage, found the injured driver and took him to Palomar Medical Center. Those witnesses did not know about a critically injured passenger, still in the mangled car.
The driver did not say anything about that victim, Martin said.
The witnesses called authorities to alert them of the crash and report that they had taken the driver to the hospital. When investigators went to the hospital to speak with the driver, they learned about the passenger and sent officers to the wreckage.
There, officers discovered a deceased man in the passenger seat, Martin said.
He has been identified as Juan Andres Ramirez, 33, of Escondido. The San Diego County Medical Examiner reports Ramirez died of multiple blunt force injuries.
The driver was arrested on suspicion of DUI and felony manslaughter. Martin said he is unlicensed but did not release further details about the suspect.