San Diego

2 Drivers Die in Wrong-Way Crash on SR-52 in University City

Investigators said a driver in a pickup truck was traveling the wrong way on State Route 52, just east of Interstate 5, and collided into another driver in a sedan

Two drivers were killed overnight in a wrong-way crash on State Route 52 in University City, authorities confirmed.

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) received a call just after midnight Tuesday reporting that someone in a gray pickup truck was driving the wrong way on SR-52, in the fast lane, just east of Interstate 5.

About a minute later, CHP received another call about a crash. 

Officers said the person driving the pickup truck slammed head-on into a driver behind the wheel of a Mercedes sedan. The crash sparked a fire, and both drivers were killed.

CHP told NBC 7, two men who saw the crash got out of their car and tried to rescue the drivers but were unable to do so because of the flames.

"I don't ever remember a night like we had last night," CHP Officer Jake Sanchez said.

The driver of the Mercedes was identified as 52-year-old Riyadh Kamil Kafaji of La Jolla.

"It was hard. It's one of those things where it's our job, but at the same time, we're human beings, we have emotions," Sanchez added.

At this time, the driver of the pickup truck has not been identified. No passengers were inside either car.

The roads near the crash were closed while CHP launched an investigation. Hours later, the roads reopened.

According to CHP, alcohol may have been a factor in the crash.

Sanchez said if you ever find yourself in a situation where a car is driving the wrong way towards you, get on the right had lanes, pull over and call for help.

"Try to get away from the vehicle as best you can, get to a shoulder, call 911," Sanchez said. "Again, because if this person does crash, it's going to be a bad crash."

Check back for updates on this developing story.

Contact Us