Authorities ID young Marine killed by wrong-way driver

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Firefighters begin to cut open a car that was hit by a wrong-way driver trying to escape police in Carlsbad.

Data pix.

SAN DIEGO -- Authorities Wednesday identified the young Marine killed by a crash with a wrong-way driver on the freeway in North County this week.

Matthew Ryan Adams, an active-duty Marine stationed at Camp Pendleton, was killed in the head-on crash early Tuesday morning, the Medical Examiner's Office said. His vehicle had Utah plates.

Adams was hit head-on by a truck headed south on northbound Interstate 5 in Carlsbad.

Officials said the truck driver, who was also killed in the crash, had been trying to escape police after a chase through Oceanside. He was identified Thursday as 42-year-old Christian Zurita.

Police said it all started when officers tried to pull Zurita over for a "minor traffic violation" near Monterey Drive. The truck pulled over at first, but Zurita took off when an officer started to approach his vehicle, police said.

He then pulled onto I-5 in the wrong direction, heading south in the northbound lanes. A short time later, the truck smashed head-on into Adams' Pontiac sedan.

Officers had stopped chasing the truck but were tracking the vehicle with a helicopter at the time of the crash, CHP said. "Once you see a wrong-way driver, CHP has certain rules that we partake in, not engaging in the wrong-way activity with them," an officer told FOX 5.

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