SANTA YSABEL (CNS) - One motorist suffered life-threatening injuries and two others were less severely hurt in a fiery head-on collision Tuesday that temporarily shut down a stretch of state Route 78 near Santa Ysabel.
A 2015 Nissan Altima driven by a 45-year-old Julian woman drifted into oncoming traffic near Slaughterhouse Road and collided with a BMW sedan in the westbound lanes shortly before 8 a.m., according to California Highway Patrol Officer Kevin Pearlstein. The BMW subsequently caught fire.
The 27-year-old Ridgecrest man behind the wheel of the BMW suffered life-threatening injuries and was airlifted to UCSD Medical Center, Pearlstein said. The Nissan's driver and the BMW's passenger, a 20-year-old Julian woman, were taken to Sharp Memorial Hospital for treatment of minor to moderate injuries, he said.
The highway was closed in the area following the crash, but CHP officers began letting traffic through using alternating one-way traffic control around 9:30 a.m.