1 dead, 4 injured in head-on crash in North County

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VALLEY CENTER, Calif. — One person died Monday and four family members were seriously injured in a head-on collision on a rural North County road.

The crash happened about 11:45 a.m. on a two-lane stretch of Valley Center Road, near Cole Grade Road, according to the California Highway Patrol.

A man was driving his white 1996 Toyota Camry southbound just south of Vesper Road when he crossed the double yellow lines and crashed head-on into a 2007 Chrysler minivan, CHP Officer James Bettencourt said in a new release.

The van was being driven by a 38-year-old man from La Mesa. His 40-year-old wife was in the passenger seat and their two 7-year-old twin sons were in the back.

Helicopter video showed the mangled wreckage of a white Toyota Camry and a gray minivan. Rescuers had cut the roof off of the minivan to pull the four injured people from the vehicle.

The man and wife were taken by helicopter ambulance to Palomar Hospital. Their sons were flown by helicopter  to Rady Children’s Hospital.

The driver of the Camry, whose name was not immediately available, died at the scene.

The CHP shut down traffic lanes between Mactan and Vesper roads to allow for investigation and cleanup.

The cause of the accident was under investigation, but investigators did not believe that drugs or alcohol were involved, Bettencourt said.

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