A woman was killed and two others were seriously injured when an SUV traveling the wrong way plowed into the center divide on State Route 52 in Kearny Mesa overnight, authorities confirmed.
The deadly, violent crash happened at around 3 a.m. on eastbound SR-52, west of Convoy Street near Interstate 805. The SUV, which was traveling at about 70 mph westbound in eastbound lanes, ended up on top of the center divide, facing the wrong way on the freeway.
Officers with the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and San Diego Police Department (SDPD) rushed to the scene, along with crews from the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department (SDFD).
Investigators said three people were in the black SUV – a 32-year-old driver, a 32-year-old male passenger and a 33-year-old female passenger. They were all trapped inside.
Firefighters surrounded the wreckage and began prying open the doors. Crews used the Jaws of Life to get the victims out.
A white truck was parked beside the SUV, but it didn’t appear that vehicle was involved in the collision.
The people inside the SUV were all transported to local hospitals. CHP officials later confirmed one of the victims had died from injuries suffered in the collision.
The San Diego County Medical Examiner's (ME) office has now identified that victim as the driver, San Diego resident Sandra Howard.
The ME said, for unknown reasons, Howard was driving the wrong way on the freeway when she struck the median. A passerby who came upon the accident called 911.
Officers shut down traffic on the freeway for more than an hour as they worked to collect evidence and clear the crash. No other injuries were reported.
The crash is under investigation. It is unknown, at this point, if alcohol or drugs contributed to the collision.
As of 2:30 p.m. Saturday, the conditions of the two surviving victims were unknown. Their names were not released.