Child killed, family critically injured in head-on crash in East County

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RAMONA, Calif. – A child was killed and three other family members were critically injured Monday when their car crossed into oncoming traffic on the road from Ramona to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

The accident was reported just after 11 a.m. near the intersection of state Route 78 and West Haverford Road, according to the California Highway Patrol.

An ambulance and two helicopters were sent to the accident to transport the survivors. A woman and a child were airlifted to hospitals in the helicopters and a man was transported by ambulance. All three were in critical condition, rescuers said.

Helicopter video showed a white Dodge Ram pickup on its side in a ditch off the roadway. A mangled gray Toyota Camry was sideways in the roadway about 20 feet from the pickup. The roof of the car was peeled back.

Investigators told FOX 5 that the Toyota have crossed into the oncoming lane and hit the pickup head on. The child who died and the critically injured family members were all in the Camry, they said. Rescuer had to use the Jaws of Life to free the victims from the wreckage.

The driver of the pickup was a 74-year-old man from Oregon, investigators said. His injuries were minor. He told investigators that he was heading east toward Ramona when all of the sudden Camry appeared in his lane.

Authorities closed Route 78 in both directions. It was reopened to traffic at around 4:30 p.m.

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