Back-seat driver saves day

A back-seat passenger sprang into action and steered a Land Rover away from pedestrians after the vehicle's driver suffered a seizure in Del Mar, authorities said.

The non-injury accident occurred at 15th Street and Camino Del Mar around 3:40 p.m. Sunday, according to San Diego County sheriff's Sgt. Thomas Yancey.

The vehicle was traveling eastbound on 15th Street, approaching Camino Del Mar, when its 30-year-old driver suffered a seizure while his foot was on the accelerator, Yancey said.

Back-seat passenger, Thomas Hildebrandt, 29, saw pedestrians ahead in a crosswalk and grabbed the wheel, according to Yancey.

He steered the vehicle to the left, passing through a westbound traffic lane before the Rover jumped a curb and continued through some shrubbery down a steep incline, Yancey said.

The Rover then struck a retaining wall before coming to rest in an amphitheater in front of the hotel L'Auberge Del Mar, Yancey said.

The driver and a front-seat passenger were taken to the hospital but only as a precaution, according to Yancey.

   
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