San Diego

‘Dangerous' Rescue Effort After 1 Killed in San Marcos DUI Crash: CHP

A woman died and a driver was arrested on suspicion of driving drunk in a crash that left a car teetering on a divider along westbound State Route 78 in San Marcos early Tuesday.

A white 2006 Scion was heading westbound on SR-78 when the car lost control and slid to the right near the Barham Drive exit at about 1:55 a.m. Tuesday, California Highway Patrol (CHP) Sgt. Curtis Martin said.The car then spun out and crashed into a row of yellow attenuators along the right shoulder of the freeway.

The passenger of the car, a woman in her 30s, was pronounced dead at the scene, CHP Officer Mark Latulippe said. The driver, a 33-year-old man from Vista, sustained major injuries but conscious. He was transported to Palomar Medical Center and was expected to survive.

The car came to rest with a portion of the vehicle elevated onto the center divider and the continuators, Martin said. The scenario proved dangerous for firefighters.

"It was a dangerous situation and the firefighters had to stabilize the car before they could extricate both victims because they didn’t want any further injury to the victims or themselves," Martin said.

Once both people were removed from the vehicle, the driver was taken to the hospital for treatment. He was arrested for driving under the influence and faces charges of vehicular manslaughter, Martin said.

The Barham onramp and some lanes of westbound SR-78 were expected to be closed for several hours as CHP investigated the crash.

CHP said lanes were expected to reopen before the morning commute, but repairs were necessary and instead, lanes did not open until 7:15 a.m. A Sig Alert was in effect during the closure and traffic was backed up to Interstate 15. 

Contact Us