Motorcyclist dies in south I-5 crash near Del Mar, traffic backed up for miles


A 58-year-old motorcyclist died Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 13, after running into the back of a car on south Interstate 5 near Del Mar, authorities said.

Four lanes were closed while officers investigated the crash and cleared the wreckage, snarling traffic for miles in the area.

The collision happened about 1:15 p.m. just north of Del Mar Heights Road.

California Highway Patrol Officer Jake Sanchez said the motorcyclist slammed into the back of a Toyota Camry that stopped to avoid hitting tire debris.

The rider, a San Diego man, was thrown onto the freeway and died before he could be taken to the hospital, officers said.

By 2:30 p.m., southbound traffic was backed up about 10 miles to Leucadia Boulevard. The carpool lane and three inside lanes remained closed for hours.

Traffic on north I-5 in the area also was slow, possibly because drivers were slowing to look at the fatal crash, CHP Officer Jim Bettencourt said.

The officers urged drivers to take an alternate route.

At least one other crash on north I-5 was reported around 1:20 p.m. That one involved a vehicle that ran into the center divide.

-- Karen Kucher and Lyndsay Winkley are writers for The San Diego Union-Tribune