SAN DIEGO — Two detectives from the San Diego Police Department were killed Friday when a wrong-way driver hit their car head-on on Interstate 5 in San Ysidro, according to authorities.
The driver who hit the officers’ car also died in the fiery crash near Dairy Mart Road, a California Highway Patrol spokesperson said.
Officials had not yet publicly identified any of the three victims as of Friday afternoon, confirming only that the officers were a man and a woman and the person driving northbound in the southbound lanes was a woman. The two officers’ bodies were escorted to the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office by a procession of police motorcycle and patrol cars after 2:30 p.m.
CHP first started investigating shortly before 10:30 a.m. after a broadcast call went out about a car driving in the wrong direction on I-5. A short time later, another call came in about the crash.
The wrong-way driver’s Honda Civic burst into flames after hitting the officers’ Ford sedan near state Route 905, according to CHP. Officers found three bodies in the wreckage.
“Heroic efforts from San Diego Fire weren’t able to rescue any of the occupants in either of the vehicles,” CHP spokesperson Salvador Castro said at the scene.
SDPD confirmed to FOX 5 that two of its officers were killed in the crash. It was unclear if they were on duty at the time, but they did not appear to be in a marked patrol vehicle.
“The San Diego Police Department extends its sincerest condolences to the loved ones of the fallen detectives,” the department said in a statement. “We ask for the San Diego community to keep their thoughts and prayers with the detectives’ families during this difficult time.”
CHP said its officers are still working to determine how fast the wrong-way driver was traveling and if drugs or alcohol were factors in the crash.
San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria issued the following statement:
“It is with heavy hearts that we mourn our two San Diego Police Department officers whose lives were tragically taken this morning. In the coming days, we will learn more about these public servants who proudly donned the badge to keep all of us safe and we will honor them for their service. I ask San Diegans to keep the officers and their families in your prayers.”
Southbound lanes of I-5 at SR-905 were expected to be closed for hours as police investigate. Traffic was diverted to SR-905.