1 killed after family’s car crashes down SR-76 embankment

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PALA, Calif. (CNS) – Emergency crews responding to a report of a car crash on a rural highway about a mile northwest of Casino Pauma Friday rescued two members of an Oceanside family from a deep roadside ravine and recovered the body of a third.

The 30-year-old man who had been driving the Subaru sedan made an emergency call about 6:15 a.m. to report that he had gotten into a crash during the night on Route 76, but was unsure where because he had been knocked unconscious during the wreck, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Personnel with the state agency and sheriff’s deputies launched a search for the vehicle, finding it about a half-hour later roughly 300 feet down a steep embankment near Bodie Road in Pala, on the grounds of Wilderness Gardens Preserve, CHP public-affairs Officer Mark Latulippe said.

Near the crumpled car were an 11-year-old boy and his father, both seriously injured, and the body of the child’s 30-year-old mother.

Medics took the father and son to a nearby airstrip, where air ambulances transported them to Palomar Medical Center and Rady Children’s Hospital. They were expected to recover from their injuries, Latulippe said.

The man told investigators the solo crash occurred late Thursday night while the family was heading home from a trip to Palomar Mountain. It was unclear why the sedan veered off the south side of the two-lane back-country highway and tumbled down the hillside, ejecting all three occupants.

Intoxication was not believed to have played a role in the fatal accident, the CHP spokesman said.

Authorities said the family’s dog was in the car during the crash. Crews were still working to recover the dog as of 12:30 p.m. Friday.

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