Wrong-way crash kills 2 drivers on Highway 78

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Fatal Wrong Way Crash

A wrong-way car collided with another vehicle on
eastbound state Route 78 in San Marcos today, killing both drivers, the
California Highway Patrol reported.

 SAN MARCOS, Calif. — A car traveling the wrong way on State Route 78 near Palomar College crashed head-on into another vehicle early Monday, killing both drivers.

The 1997 Nissan Maxima and 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser collided about 3 a.m. on the eastbound side of the freeway, just west of San Marcos Boulevard, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Preliminary evidence indicated that the 48-year-old driver of the Maxima was heading the wrong way when her car hit the oncoming hatchback, according to the county Medical Examiner’s Office.

The woman behind the wheel of the Chrysler died at the scene, and the other motorist was pronounced dead on arrival at Palomar Medical Center, CHP public-affairs Officer Jim Bettencourt said. Their names were withheld pending family notification.

It was not immediately clear if intoxication was a factor in the crash, Bettencourt said.

The CHP closed the eastbound lanes of the highway in the area for about two hours to allow for investigation and cleanup.


  • 78 Driver

    I hate drunk drivers! They should be put before a firing squad. They are selfish and these situations are completely avoidable. So unfortunate how they hurt completely innocent people. No sympathy from me for the drunks. RIP innocent woman delivering newspapers.

  • Mike

    Unbelievable – it's so sad when things like this happen. There's no guarantee or evidence this was a drunk driving incident though. At 3AM it very well could have simply been a drowsy driver. They can be just as dangerous as drunk drivers, if not more so.

    Minor correction: it's "Las" Posas not "Los" Posas. Considering this story was posted at like 4AM a typo here and there is understandable. :)

  • No Thank You

    If you go the wrong way on the freeway, all the reflective "Botts Dots" are RED. It would be VERY hard to not notice the fancy new RED dots between the lanes, the fact that traffic on the other side is going the same way, and the fact that the on-ramp sure did seem difficult to manage… And obviously, now that we are traveling on the side with all the pretty red dots, lets go 85MPH. Drowsy? I doubt that.

    And the reporter, well, at least it was not Arthel….

  • Mike

    I agree it definitely sounds like a drunk driver, but drowsiness is a very serious factor when getting behind the wheel as well. Not all wrong-way drivers are DUI/DWI. Some are simply overtired, otherwise responsible individuals getting off their night shift far too drowsy to safely drive home. Problem is, people don't take drowsy driving seriously, so they choose to take a risk they shouldn't and sometimes others pay the price for their negligence. If you don't believe me just Google "drowsy vs. drunk driving".

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