Man dies after car crashes into tree

ESCONDIDO, Calif. -- A 20-year-old man was killed Friday morning when he crashed his car into a tree near Reidy Creek Golf Course, police said.

The crash, involving a 2002 Lexus, happened shortly before 6:50 a.m. near the intersection of Country Club Lane and North Broadway. The car veered off the roadway, hit a curb and ended up wrapped around the tree in the median.

Firefighters had to free the driver from the crumpled car, after which paramedics took him to Palomar Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Talking with FOX 5, loved ones identified the driver as Nick Burcham.

“We adored that young man. We’ll miss him for the rest of our lives," said Diane Kath who told FOX 5 Burcham and her daughter had been dating for 5 years and he was staying with their family as he was moving back in the area to go to school at Cal State San Marcos.

She says Burcham had just left their house to go to an appointment at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Moments later, her daughter woke up startled.

“She heard a crash -- made her wake up. She checked her phone -- started calling her boyfriend. He didn’t answer the phone. She started tracking him on her phone, and his car wasn’t moving. So she jumped in her car and drove down," said Kath.

Burcham was the only occupant in the car.

Investigators from the Escondido Police Department say speed may have been a factor. Kath believes the weather may have also contributed to the crash, She said it was drizzling and the road was wet.

Another young man was killed when he crashed into the same tree in 2016, and residents say there have been numerous other crashes on the road. They say they want more stop signs or signal lights to be installed.

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