A 72-year-old Florida man died after his car was rear-ended by a suspected drunken driver on Interstate 5 in Encinitas early Friday, March 8, the California Highway Patrol said.
The Florida man had stopped his Hyundai Elantra on the right shoulder of northbound lanes at Manchester Avenue.
A pickup driver slammed into the back of the silver sedan about 1:15 a.m., CHP Officer Mark Latulippe said.
Both vehicles sustained major damage.
CHP officers arrested the Nissan Frontier pickup driver, a 42-year-old Oceanside man, on suspicion of drunken driving. He was taken to a hospital for evaluation.
Two other motorists told a San Diego News Video reporter that they stopped to try to help. One man said he couldn’t open the badly smashed sedan’s driver’s side door, but opened the passenger door and cut the driver’s seat belt.
He and the other man tried but were unable to pull the unconscious driver free of the wreckage, he said. Fire crews got there a short time later.
The driver was taken with critical injuries to a trauma center, where he later died, the CHP said.
Joseph Bush told San Diego News Video that when he stopped to help, the pickup driver started cleaning out his vehicle and tossing things.
“He kept asking me, ‘what happened, what happened,’’ Bush said.
--Pauline Repard is a reporter for The San Diego Union-Tribune