Wrong-way driver killed in freeway crash

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SAN DIEGO — The driver of a wrong-way SUV on State Route 52 who died in a single-vehicle crash early Saturday morning has been identified by the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Sandra Howard of San Diego, 42, was declared dead at Sharp Memorial Hospital shortly after 4:30 a.m. Saturday. Her passengers — a 33-year-old woman and a 32-year-old man — were taken to Scripps Mercy and Sharp Memorial hospitals respectively, with major injuries.

Howard was driving a 2001 Acura SUV at about 70 mph in the wrong direction of the eastbound 52’s fast lane, just east of Interstate 805 in Kearny Mesa at about 2:45 a.m. when she hit a concrete barrier, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The identities of her passengers were not released by authorities. All three occupants had to be extricated from the vehicle by San Diego Fire-Rescue personnel.

Motorists in the area who came upon the wreckage called 9-1-1. Paramedics transported Howard to the Sharp Memorial emergency room with advanced cardiac lifesaving efforts in progress in the ambulance. Those efforts continued in the emergency room until she was pronounced dead. Her cause of death was under investigation by the Medical Examiner’s Office.