FLINN SPRINGS, Calif. – Two people were killed when a car driven by a repeat drunken driver flew off Interstate 8 west of Alpine, and the CHP said the driver faces likely murder and vehicular homicide charges.
Mario Alberto Castaneda-Carranza, the San Diego man at the wheel, has multiple drunken driving convictions on his record, according to California Highway Patrol officer Kevin Pearlstein.
Two 20-year-old passengers, initially identified as a San Diego woman and a Chula Vista man, were killed. Castaneda-Carranza sustained serious but non-life-threatening injuries in the 7:30 a.m. crash, the CHP officer said.
Castaneda-Carranza was allegedly driving his 1997 Nissan Sentra westbound on Interstate 8 at an estimated 70 miles per hour, approaching Lake
Jennings Park Road, when he allowed it to drift into the center divider, Pearlstein said. He overcorrected and the car swerved right, careened through a
chain link fence and then smashed into a concrete culvert, according to the officer.
Pearlstein said the impact of the car’s right side against the drain pipe killed the two passengers, and that drugs and alcohol appeared to have been factors in the crash. Rescue crews accessed the crash from the adjacent 9500 block of Blossom Valley Road, near New Colt Court, a CHP dispatcher said.
Castaneda-Carranza was taken to Sharp Memorial Hospital and was facing several charges, including murder due to a previous drunken driving conviction, vehicular homicide and felony drunken driving, according to Pearlstein.