Young woman badly hurt in North County freeway crash

A CHP officer stands by the badly damaged sedan in a crash on SR-78

SAN DIEGO — A 20-year-old Riverside-area woman was hospitalized in critical condition Thursday with injuries she suffered in a freeway crash in northern San Diego County.

The Temecula resident was riding in a Mitsubishi Lancer that swerved out of control on state Route 78 in Vista shortly before 9 p.m. Wednesday, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The westbound sedan veered into a center median near Vista Village Drive, struck a divider wall and overturned, CHP public-affairs Officer Mark Latulippe said. The young woman, who apparently was not wearing a seat belt, was hurled onto the roadway, Latulippe said.

Medics took her to Palomar Medical Center in Escondido, where she was admitted for treatment of severe trauma. Her name was not released.

A 31-year-old San Marcos man who also had been riding in the car was taken to Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla for evaluation of complaints of pain.

The driver, a 26-year-old Santee resident, told investigators one of his tires blew out just before the wreck, Latulippe said. There was no evidence that he was intoxicated or speeding at the time, the spokesman said.

The accident, which forced a roughly 30-minute closure of the westbound side of the freeway, remained under investigation Thursday afternoon, according to Latulippe.

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