Elderly man drives wrong way on 3 freeways before head-on crash

SAN DIEGO -- An elderly motorist drove the wrong way on three local freeways Monday, taking a perilous 15-minute route from Spring Valley to Barrio Logan before getting into a minor-injury collision near Naval Base San Diego.

Authorities received the first report of the wrong-way 2000 Cadillac DeVille shortly after 11 a.m., as it was heading south on northbound state Route 125 at Jamacha Road, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Near Sweetwater Summit Regional Park, the 75-year-old Chula Vista man behind the wheel of the sedan merged onto SR-54, traveling to the west on the eastbound side of the freeway, CHP public-affairs Jake Sanchez said.

After passing through Bay Terraces, Bonita and National City, the driver entered southbound Interstate 5, once again on the wrong side of the road.

Witnesses reported that the Cadillac was traveling at fairly low speeds, mostly in the center medians of the roadways, Sanchez said.

Near 32nd Street, the man tried to pull a U-turn, instead broadsiding an oncoming Nissan Rogue driven by a 30-year-old Chula Vista woman.

Two children riding in the SUV suffered minor trauma in the crash. Medics took the girls, ages 5 and 7, to Rady Children's Hospital for treatment and evaluation. No other injuries were reported.

The collision left two lanes of I-5 and a connector to northbound SR- 15 blocked for about a half-hour.

There were no indications that intoxication played a role in the perilous drive. CHP officers gave the wrong-way driver, whose name was not released, a citation barring him from driving unless he passes a driving- fitness test administered by the state Department of Motor Vehicles, Sanchez said.