OCEANSIDE (CNS) - A 21-year-old drunken man raced another motorist in the North County early Friday before leading California Highway Patrol on a high-speed pursuit that ended in a crash that killed his passenger, authorities said.
Jorge Luis Lopez faces several felonies charges -- including evading, drunken driving and vehicular manslaughter -- once he is released from a hospital where he is being treated for moderate injuries, according to CHP Officer Jim Bettencourt.
CHP officers spotted a 1991 Honda Civic racing a dark sedan on westbound Highway 78 near College Boulevard around 12:55 a.m., he said. The sedan slowed down, but the Honda sped off at 100 miles per hour onto northbound Interstate 5, Bettencourt said in a statement.
From I-5, the Honda exited onto Mission Avenue in Oceanside and headed east before turning south on Mesa Drive. While on Mesa Drive, the Honda traveled at speeds up to 80 mph, Bettencourt said, adding that it hit a dip in the road and crashed into a parked pickup near Mesa and Pajama drives.
A man in the passenger seat was killed instantly, Bettencourt said. The driver -- later identified as Lopez -- sustained moderate injuries and was flown to Scripps La Jolla Hospital.
Alcohol was a factor in the crash, according to Bettencourt.
The driver of the dark sedan suspected of racing Lopez in the Honda was not pulled over and not wanted as of early Friday, Bettencourt said.