Distraught father causes wrong-way crash hours after son's death - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Distraught father causes wrong-way crash hours after son's death

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A 16-year-old boy and his father died in separate crashes on Interstate 8 near their hometown of Alpine Thursday, with the man's death an apparent suicide prompted by the traffic accident that killed his son, authorities reported.

The teen was mortally injured shortly before 7 a.m., when his mother lost control of her westbound 2007 Toyota Tacoma just east of Flinn Springs, possibly due to a blown tire, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The truck veered off the north side of the freeway, overturned and came to rest on its wheels on Dunbar Lane, CHP public-affairs Officer Brian Pennings said. The boy, who apparently was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected from the pickup and died at the scene.

His name was withheld pending family notification.

The teen's 55-year-old mother was airlifted to a trauma center for treatment of apparently non-life-threatening injuries.

About six hours later, motorists began making 911 calls to report that a motorist in a Toyota Scion was speeding and driving erratically on eastbound Interstate 8, within miles of the site of the earlier accident, Pennings said.

A short time later, the reckless driver, later identified as the 48-year-old father of the teen killed in the morning crash, doubled back and began driving to the west on the wrong side of the interstate in the Alpine area, according to Pennings.

Near Tavern Road, the driver of an eastbound gold Mercury Grand Marquis saw the wrong-way vehicle appear in front of him and swerved to the right to try to avoid a collision. At that point, according to witnesses, the driver of the Scion steered back into the path of the oncoming car, apparently with the intent of causing a collision, Pennings said.

The resulting head-on crash left the driver of the Toyota gravely injured. Medics took him to Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

The occupants of the Mercury, a 44-year-old Imperial Valley man and his 19-year-old son, suffered moderately serious trauma. They were expected to fully recover, according to Pennings.

The death of the Scion driver, whose name was not immediately available, was being investigated as a suicide, the officer said.

Shortly before the crash that killed the distraught father, San Diego police issued a be-on-the-lookout alert for him and his car, advising that he had made some sort of threat and might be armed with a gun.

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