Unlicensed teen arrested for DUI after crash injures 4

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Ambulance emergency

ESCONDIDO, Calif. — An 18-year-old man was in custody Monday on suspicion of driving without a license and being high on marijuana when he caused a crash in Escondido that injured several people, including himself, police said.

Elias Mendez of Escondido was behind the wheel of a southbound green Toyota Paseo when he ran a red light at Broadway and Second Avenue around 1:15 p.m. Sunday and crashed into a white Chevrolet Impala, according to Escondido police Lt. Justin Murphy.

The Paseo’s backseat passenger, 18-year-old Moises Lopez of Escondido, suffered severe neck and back injuries, Murphy said. He was taken to Palomar Medical Center to be treated along with Mendez and a 17-year-old passenger, who both sustained minor injuries.

The Impala’s driver also suffered minor injuries but refused treatment, Murphy said, adding that a 1-year-old passenger in that car was not hurt.

Mendez was later booked into the Vista jail on suspicion of felony drugged driving and driving without a license, according to jail records. Bail was set at $130,000. He could be arraigned as early as Tuesday afternoon.

Police asked anyone with additional information on the crash to call 760-839-4423.

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