Family says Highway 56 crash victim died on his way to a funeral - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Family says Highway 56 crash victim died on his way to a funeral

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This image shows 18-year-old Timothy Barnette. This image shows 18-year-old Timothy Barnette.

SAN DIEGO (CNS/CBS8) - Family members of the fatal victim in a wrong-way crash along Highway 56 Thursday morning have identified him as 22-year-old Nick Hart, a Poway High School graduate.

The head-on collision killed Hart and seriously injured another on State Route 56 in Rancho Penasquitos, the California Highway Patrol reported.

The wreck near Black Mountain Road occurred shortly after 9:30 a.m., when an eastbound 2002 Ranger Rover SUV veered across a center median and smashed into an oncoming 2010 Toyota Scion, according to the CHP.

Hart, who was behind the wheel of the westbound car, died at the scene.

Medics took the other motorist, 18-year-old Timothy Barnette of San Diego, to Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla for treatment of severe injuries.

The men were by themselves in their vehicles, according to Sanchez.

Investigators suspected that Barnette was under the influence of some type of medication or other controlled substance at the time of the crash, and criminal charges were expected to be filed against him, the spokesman said.

Hart's family told News 8 that he had been heading to a funeral for another family member when the crash occurred.

"His family is mourning right now terribly," said Hart's uncle, Bradley Reynolds. "He was a great kid, hard worker, and one hell of a surfer."

Reynolds said his nephew had attended Cal State San Marcos, and was currently working at Trader Joe's.

"It is devastating," Reynolds added. "He was such a great kid... We're going to miss him very badly."

The accident left the westbound side of the freeway closed in the area into the early afternoon.


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