Chula Vista

Woman Killed in Wrong-Way Street ‘Racing' Crash in Chula Vista: Police

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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A 57-year-old grandmother was killed in a wrong-way crash Saturday in Chula Vista after a driver – suspected of street racing another driver – ran a red light and went into oncoming traffic, police confirmed.

The Chula Vista Police Department said that just after 6 p.m., a driver in a Ford Mustang and a driver in a white Subaru WRX were racing one another on L Street.

The driver of the Mustang was traveling eastbound in the westbound lane and kept driving the wrong way, approaching Third Avenue. At the intersection, the wrong-way driver of the Mustang ran a red light and slammed head-on into a woman who was driving a Nissan Altima with two grandchildren inside.

The woman was not involved in the suspected street racing, a sergeant with the CVPD said. Authorities identified her as 57-year-old Martha Bertha Villalobos Romo.

Police said two other cars behind the Altima crashed into the bystander and then each other.

Others involved in the crash, including the two children, were all taken to local hospitals with minor to moderate injuries, police said.

The other car, which the police describe as a 2014 or newer white Subaru WRX, was not involved in the crash and fled the scene. The driver of the Ford Mustang was arrested.

Police remained at the scene for hours investigating the deadly wrong-way crash and shut down traffic along Third Avenue, from K to Moss streets. L Street from Third to Fourth avenues was also closed during the investigation.

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.

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.

This is a developing story, please check back later for updates.

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