Driver falls asleep, flips car

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SAN DIEGO – A driver was rescued Friday after falling asleep at the wheel and flipping his car near downtown San Diego, the California Highway Patrol said.

Patrol officers arrived at the crash scene on the 1st Avenue on-ramp to southbound Interstate 5 just before 3 a.m. Friday. They believe the man fell asleep at the wheel because there were no skid marks on the road, indicating he made no attempt to stop before the crash.

The car flipped onto its roof and took out a street sign. Firefighters had to cut off the car’s roof to rescue the driver, whose name has not been released.

The on-ramp to I-5 from 1st Avenue was closed during the rescue. It was reopened a short time later.

Paramedics placed the man on a stretcher and took him to the University of California San Diego Medical Center with serious injuries. He was not wearing a seat belt during the crash.