Man, boy killed in Christmas Eve crash identified

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RAMONA, Calif.  -- A 44-year-old man and a 5-year-old boy were identified Tuesday by the San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office as the victims in the collision in Ramona involving the Toyota Camry they were in and a Ram pickup truck.

The collision killing 44-year-old Gonzalo Rodriguez and 5-year-old Christian Diaz occurred shortly after 11 a.m. Monday on state Route 78 near West Haverford Road.

Rodriguez lost control of the westbound Camry that crossed over the double yellow lines into the eastbound lanes and collided with the Ram, according to the Medical Examiner's Office.

Witnesses called 9-1-1 and responding paramedics freed Rodriguez from the vehicle. He was taken via Mercy Air to Palomar Medical Center Escondido, where he died about two hours after the crash despite advanced cardiac life- support efforts, according to Medical Examiner's Office.

Christian and a 6-year-old boy whose name was not released were back-seat passengers in the Camry who had been wearing their lap seat belts, but not their shoulder harnesses, the California Highway Patrol reported.

The collision occurred north of the Pine Tree Acres Christmas Tree Farm.

The boy who survived in the rear of the Camry, and a woman in the front seat, as well as the truck driver their car collided with, were all taken to area hospitals for treatment of undetermined injuries, according to the CHP.

The two-vehicle crash closed state Route 78 in both directions at West Haverford Road until about 4 p.m. Monday, nearly five hours after the accident.

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