Driver killed in chain reaction crash on I-5 in Del Mar - The CW San Diego - News 8

Driver killed in chain reaction crash on I-5 in Del Mar

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DEL MAR (CNS) - A 27-year-old La Mesa man crashed early Tuesday morning on Interstate 5 and escaped to safety before an SUV struck his disabled vehicle, but he was struck and killed by a second SUV when he walked back onto the freeway, the California Highway Patrol reported.

The initial crash happened at 2:30 a.m. on northbound I-5 just south of Villa De La Valle near Del Mar, CHP Officer Tommy Doerr said. That crash and the subsequent collisions blocked all northbound lanes for more than an hour and a half and all but one lane for more than three hours.

The victim, whose name was not released, was driving a 2000 Toyota sedan on the freeway east of the Del Mar Fairgrounds when he veered left for unknown reasons and struck the center divide, CHP officials said. The Toyota came to rest facing sideways on the freeway near the two left lanes, and the man got out and walked to safety on the right shoulder of the freeway.

While outside of his crashed car, a 2018 Mercedes-Benz SUV struck the disabled Toyota, pushing it toward the center of northbound I-5, CHP officials said. But after that crash, and for "an undetermined reason," the victim walked into traffic toward his disabled Toyota.

That's when a 2016 Jeep struck the man, who died at the scene. There are reports that he was returning to his car to retrieve a cellphone and a witness who said he repeatedly warned the victim not to attempt to walk back out to the car.

The 32-year-old Mesa, Arizona, man driving the Mercedes and the 46-year- old Aliso Viejo man driving the Jeep were both uninjured, CHP officials said. Neither was suspected of driving under the influence.

All lanes of traffic were blocked for more than an hour and a half as CHP officers diverted traffic off the freeway at the Via De La Valle exit. The HOV lane reopened about 4 a.m., three more lanes reopened a little after 5:30 a.m. and all lanes were clear by 6:10 a.m.

But as morning rush-hour traffic built up approaching the fatal crash, a secondary crash was reported about 4:40 a.m. involving at least three vehicles just a little south of the initial crash site, according to a CHP incident log. No injuries were immediately reported from that collision.

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