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SAN DIEGO — Police say a man suffered a traumatic injury to his upper body before he crashed his car into a utility pole and died Sunday.

Officers responded to El Cajon Boulevard and 73rd Street around 11 a.m. and found a 35-year-old man with serious injuries to his torso. First responders initially believed he may have been shot.

The San Diego Police Department said it’s too early to say what caused the injury to the driver’s upper body. It was not from the crash, according to police.

“The individual was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced deceased from, most likely, that injury,” Acting Lt. Joel Tien with the San Diego Police Department’s homicide unit said. 

Derek Isakson lives nearby and said he has noticed an uptick in crime over the last few months. 

“Especially this area, just this little three-block radius, I’ve seen a lot of crime,” Isakson said. “At night, I won’t let my wife walk the dog because of the crime in general. It’s just not safe.”

The police department has not yet released the man’s identity. A spokesperson said detectives were looking for surveillance video and working to find out where the man was before the crash.

Anyone with information about his death is asked to contact the homicide unit at 619-531-2293.