High speed, unsafe road conditions and alcohol led to a deadly accident on Sunday. One man was killed and two others seriously injured in a single-vehicle drunk driving crash in East San Diego County.
• A suspected drunk driver who was traveling at high speed swerved to avoid hitting a woman and a horse on a rural road.
• The car went out of control, flipped over, and landed upside-down in front of a resident’s house.
• One passenger died at the scene. The driver was hospitalized with a serious spinal injury. The other passenger also was hospitalized.
The accident occurred at about 3:20 p.m., according to an ABC Channel 10 News report.
A 1970 Plymouth Barracuda that was traveling at a high rate of speed on Ashley Road near Seventh Street in Ramona apparently swerved to avoid hitting a young woman who was unloading a horse from a cart.
The driver, a 42-year-old Ramona man whose name was not released, then lost control of the vehicle. It veered off of the road, rolled over, crashed into a retaining wall, and landed on its roof in the driveway in front of Dennis Morgan’s home.
“I heard the car hit the gas, I heard him put it into a higher gear, then I heard him speeding down the hill and suddenly they hit the brakes,” Morgan told ABC News. “Then I saw a car come ripping right through the front of my yard.”
One of the passengers, later identified as 52-year-old Mark Andrew Jones of Ramona, was ejected from the car and was lying next to it in the driveway. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The other passenger suffered major injuries and was hospitalized. Police did not release that passenger’s name nor the nature and extent of his injuries.
The driver sustained a major spinal injury, California Highway Patrol officer Brian Pennings told the North County Times. He was taken to a hospital to be treated but was expected to be charged with felony drunk driving upon his release, Pennings said.
People who live along the two-lane country road where the accident happened say it’s very dangerous because their homes are right next to the road and so many drivers speed. The speed limit is supposed to be 30 mph, but there are skid marks on the asphalt leading to where a speed limit sign was taken out.
“This is a totally preventable, unnecessary, tragedy that did not have to happen,” Morgan said. “Anywhere in the county where there are these kinds of conditions, it’s just a matter of time.”
Morgan said he hoped county supervisors would take steps to make the road safer and prevent future accidents like this one.
“The collision is still under investigation,”CHP Sgt. Chris Ertzner told the San Diego Union-Tribune, “but alcohol is suspected.”
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