Driver fatally shoots himself after rollover crash

VISTA, Calif. — A 22-year-old man ran a red light in Vista, caused a rollover crash, fled the scene on foot and called his mother to pick him up, but as deputies searched for him, he shot and killed himself, authorities said Wednesday.

The bizarre incident began around 6:45 p.m. Tuesday near South Melrose Drive and Shadowridge Drive, Deputy Sean Gallagher said. That’s where the 22-year-old, driving a 2010 Honda Civic, ran a red light southbound on South Melrose Drive and collided with a 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV.

Deputies went to the scene in response to a report of a rollover crash — it was unclear which car rolled in the collision — where they found the Hyundai’s driver was uninjured but the Honda’s driver had fled, Gallagher said.

“As deputies were searching the area, they were flagged down by a female who stated the male had just shot himself,” Gallagher said. “Deputies located the suspect in the bushes near the intersection of Countryside Drive and Club Heights Lane with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.”

Sheriff’s investigators later learned the woman who flagged them down was the man’s mother. She said that after the crash, her son called her and gave her directions of where to pick him up, but at some point, he apparently shot himself.

Deputies performed CPR on the man, whose name was not released, until paramedics arrived and took him to Palomar Medical Center in Escondido, Gallagher said. Doctors there pronounced him dead.

Investigators are looking into whether drugs or alcohol were involved in the initial crash, Gallagher said. No foul play is expected in the man’s death, but anyone with information about the incident was asked to call sheriff’s Sgt. Juan Lozoya at 760-940-4551.