Chula Vista

Police ID Driver Suspected of Street Racing, Causing Crash That Killed Bystander Grandmother

Two cars were racing when one of the cars, driving in the wrong lane, crashed into the victim head-on; she was not involved in the street racing, police said

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Chula Vista police have identified the driver of a vehicle who was believed to be street racing another car when he ran a red light and crashed into a vehicle head-on, killing a 57-year-old grandmother and injuring her two grandchildren, authorities said Monday.

Alonso Pina, 22, was still hospitalized on Monday but was expected to survive his injuries from the crash at Third Avenue and L Street on June 5. Once he is released, he will be booked into jail on at least one charge of vehicular manslaughter, the Chula Vista Police Department said.

According to authorities, Pina was in a Ford Mustang racing a white Subaru WRX at high speeds when he approached the intersection. Pina drifted onto the wrong side of the road and then ran a red light, striking a Nissan Altima.

Two other vehicles then crashed into the Altima, which was a bystander vehicle and not involved in the street race, CVPD said.

The driver of the Nissan, 57-year-old Martha Villalobos Romo, died at the scene.

Her two grandchildren, a 10- and a 7-year-old, were both hospitalized with minor injuries, released, and are with family.

CVPD is still looking for the driver of the white Subaru WRX, which was described as 2014 or newer. The Subaru did not crash and fled the scene.

Anyone with information about the white Subaru is asked to contact the Chula Vista Police Department at (619) 409-3817. A Series of Wrong-Way Crashes in San Diego County

Saturday’s crash was the fourth wrong-way crash in San Diego County this week. A fifth was reported on Monday in Spring Valley.

On Friday, at about 10:20 a.m., a wrong-way collision on Interstate 5 in San Ysidro killed two San Diego Police Department detectives, Jamie Huntley-Park and Ryan Park. The detectives had met in the police academy in 2012 and wed in early 2016.

NBC 7's Amber Frias spoke to a cousin of the couple about the tragedy, and Mark Mullen has the latest on the crash investigation.
SDPD Chief David Nisleit said the two detectives met in the police academy in 2012.

Also on Friday, just before 4:15 a.m., a wrong-way driver suspected of being under the influence of alcohol was in an Audi on Interstate 15 in unincorporated Fallbrook driving southbound in the northbound lanes on Interstate 15. The California Highway Patrol said the driver – identified as James McFarland – plowed into an oncoming driver in a Toyota.

The Toyota went up in flames on the freeway, but the driver was able to escape. The CHP said the driver in the Toyota suffered major injuries and was taken to Palomar Hospital for treatment. McFarland suffered minor injuries and was booked into jail on suspicion of DUI.

On Tuesday, a woman was killed in Carmel Valley when a wrong-way driver slammed into her on Interstate 5.

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