San Diego

DUI Suspect Hits 2 Joggers in Vista, Killing 1

The couple was jogging near the intersection S. Melrose and Shadowridge drived when they were hit by the car

A couple out for a jog Friday evening in Vista were struck by a DUI suspect in a tragic crash that left one of the joggers dead, and the other seriously hurt.

According to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department (SDSO), the victims were jogging just before 6:30 p.m. near the intersection along the 1500 block of South Melrose and Shadowridge drives when a suspected drunk driver in an SUV approached the area.

The driver, who was traveling at a high rate of speed, lost control of his SUV and jumped the curb, driving right onto the sidewalk where the man and woman were jogging.

The vehicle plowed into both of the joggers then struck a light pole and came to a halt.

Deputies said one jogger, a 40-year-old man, was killed in the crash. The other jogger, a 34-year-old woman, was badly injured and rushed to Palomar Medical Center.

The mangled SUV wound up on its roof, the bumper and other pieces of the wreckage strewn about the roadway. The driver had to be pulled out of his car by emergency crews. He was also seriously injured in the collision and taken to Palomar Medical Center.

Deputies said alcohol is believed to have been a factor in the deadly crash.

Natasha Yaksch witnessed the crash while she was driving. She said she will never forget it. The sight made her sick to her stomach.

"[I] saw a girl laying on the side on the in the bushes curled up and she had her eyes open and somebody was comforting her,” she told NBC 7. 

"We just started praying for their souls and we just discharged our energy out and just breathed through it. I had to stop the car I could not drive, I could not drive anymore," she added.

Yaksch said she called her son after witnessing the crash just to remind him to please be careful when driving.

"[I told him],'Don't and drive, don't text while driving, be responsible; drive like your life depends on it,'" she said.

No further details were released, including the name of the jogger killed in the crash.

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