Alcohol, drugs found at scene of head-on crash - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Alcohol, drugs found at scene of head-on crash

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LAKESIDE (CBS 8) - Two people were killed and three people were injured in a car crash in Lakeside Sunday morning. 

According to the CHP, two vehicles crashed head-on on Wildcat Canyon Road north of Blue Sky Ranch around 5 a.m. The 25-year-old driver of a 1999 Saturn was heading north when he crossed over the double yellow lines and crashed head on into a Toyota Camry. The two men inside the Camry, ages 42 and 53, suffered major injuries. Both the driver of the Saturn and his 27-year-old front passenger died at the scene. Their 25-year-old passenger in the back seat survived the crash.

Investigators say they found open containers of beer and marijuana at the scene, indicating drugs and alcohol played a role in Sunday’s crash.

“He confirmed that they had been at some sort of party, taking shots, smoking marijuana and decided they would go to the casino after the fact,” says CHP Officer Kevin Pearlstein. 

“It’s very sad, it’s very sad,” says local resident Betty Pitcher.

Betty has lived in the area for 25 years. She travels Wildcat Canyon Road several times a week to and from her job at Barona Casino and she says she has seen many crashes on Wildcat Canyon Road. She believes the 50 mile per hour speed limit is to blame for the high number of crashes. Others blame the curves in the road.

“To me, 50 is entirely too fast. You’re going sailing around the corner,” says Betty.

However, CHP Officer Kevin Pearlstein says the roadway, which acts as the main artery to Barona and Ramona Country Estate, isn’t the issue.

“I wouldn’t consider Wildcat Canyon a dangerous road, I consider a lot of people’s activities while they are on it to be dangerous,” says Officer Pearlstein.

The dangerous activities include talking on a cellphone, falling asleep and driving under the influence. Due to the number of accidents in the past, several changes have been made to the road over the last decade to improve safety.

“It’s been widened, they actually widened the center divide that separates north and south. We have rumble strips in the center divide and we have strips on the shoulder,” says Officer Pearlstein.

Pearlstein says the best solution to improve driver safety along Wildcat Canyon Road is for drivers to make better choices.

According to officials, everyone involved in the crash was wearing their seatbelt. As for the condition of the surviving victims, officials say the driver of the Camry is in serious condition.


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