SAN DIEGO — A man suspected of driving drunk was killed when he swerved into oncoming traffic and crashed with a heavy duty pickup truck outside a rural North County school Friday morning, officials said.
Dispatchers started getting calls about the collision on Old River Road outside Bonsall Elementary School just before noon, according to California Highway Patrol. The Bonsall community is located east of Camp Pendleton.
Two vehicles, a Honda sedan driven by a 58-year-old Vista man and a Ford F-350 Super Duty driven by a 60-year-old Escondido man, collided violently when the Honda driver veered into the oncoming lane, CHP said in a news release. Why the man in the sedan swerved into the wrong lane wasn’t immediately clear, but investigators said “alcohol impairment was suspected.”
People who saw the crash tried to help the drivers until emergency crews arrived, 911 callers told CHP. When officials got there, they cut the Honda driver out of the vehicle and gave him CPR, but he was pronounced dead at the scene. Authorities did not report any injuries for the truck driver.
Traffic was slowed through the area as CHP, North County Fire Protection District and other first responders worked. Lanes were closed near the school, which was letting out early for a minimum day. “Expect delays as you pick up your children from Bonsall Elementary,” the fire department wrote on Twitter.
A school employee named Lisa spoke with FOX 5 about the commotion heard on campus. “We were on the playground and heard a bunch of sirens, lots of sirens, and they kept coming,” Lisa said. “We were out at recess at the time … we were told to clear the fields.”
Lisa added that the area where the crash happened can be hectic because it’s where many roads — including busy Camino del Rey — meet in the small town. A memorial with a small cross from another deadly crash stood within yards of Friday’s crash site.
Anyone with information about the collision was asked to contact the California Highway Patrol at 760-643-3400.
FOX 5’s Jason Sloss contributed to this report.