OCEANSIDE, Calif. – Two drivers were airlifted to a hospital with major injuries after one of them drove the wrong way on Route 78 and smashed head-on into the other, authorities said.
Several callers reported a dark sedan as it was headed west in the eastbound lanes through San Marcos and Vista before colliding with a small pickup truck near College Avenue in Oceanside shortly after 3 a.m., according to the California Highway Patrol and fire officials.
Arriving officers and paramedics found the retirement-age woman behind the wheel of the car and the pickup truck’s driver trapped in wreckage of their vehicles, according to Battalion Chief Greg deAvila of the Oceanside Fire Department. Both were extricated, then flown to Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla.
Authorities said the victims suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries. It was not immediately clear why the woman had been headed against highway traffic.
The crash and a resulting debris field stretching about 400 feet from the involved vehicles prompted the CHP to close the eastbound highway for a time, but the roadway was later cleared, authorities said.