Motorcyclist dies in North County freeway crash

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SAN MARCOS, Calif. — A crash on state Route 78 near the border between San Marcos and Escondido killed a motorcyclist and snarled traffic during Tuesday’s morning commute.

A 21-year-old Escondido man riding a 1992 Honda CBR motorcycle crashed into the rear of a 2004 Ford F-250 pickup truck in the westbound lanes near Nordahl Road around 7:15 a.m., according to the California Highway Patrol.

The 56-year-old Escondido man behind the wheel of the pickup truck told investigators he was traveling at about 40 miles per hour when he felt the motorcycle hit the back of his vehicle, CHP Officer Jim Bettencourt said.

The motorcyclist was thrown from his bike and landed in the center divider, Bettencourt said. He died at the scene and had not been identified as of mid-morning.

It was not immediately known whether drugs or alcohol were factors in the crash, according to the officer.

The wreck prompted authorities to temporarily close the left lane, but it was reopened by about 9:45 a.m., according to Caltrans

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