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Fatal 3-car crash closes North County road

ESCONDIDO, Calif. -- A collision on a two-lane rural road near Lawrence Welk Resort Village killed one person Wednesday and injured four others, at least two of them seriously.

The deadly accident occurred shortly after 12:30 p.m., when the speeding driver of a northbound Lincoln Town Car tried to pass a GMC Acadia SUV on Champagne Boulevard north of Mountain Meadow Road in an unincorporated area near Escondido, according to the California Highway Patrol.

An oncoming Toyota Corolla plowed head-on into the Lincoln, fatally injuring the 58-year-old Alpine resident driving the latter vehicle. The woman, the sole occupant of the sedan, died at the scene, CHP public-affairs Officer Mark Latulippe said. Her name was withheld pending family notification.

Following the fatal impact, the driver of the Acadia, a 64-year-old resident of Othello, Washington, lost control of her vehicle, which crashed off the side of the road and tumbled about 150 feet down an embankment.

After emergency crews freed the surviving victims from the wreckage, medics took the driver of the Corolla, a 63-year-old Antioch man, and his 66- year-old female passenger to Palomar Medical Center for treatment of severe trauma, Latulippe said.

The driver of the SUV and her 74-year-old male passenger were taken to the same Escondido hospital with injuries of undisclosed severity.

It was not immediately clear if intoxication played a role in the wreck, Latulippe said. At the time of the collision, however, the Lincoln was traveling at an estimated 70-plus mph in a 55-mph zone, according to Latulippe.

The accident forced a closure of the road in the area through late afternoon.