One dead, 1 missing in El Capitan boat collision

LAKESIDE - One man is dead, one is missing and two other people were injured after two boats collided on El Capitan Reservoir in Lakeside Thursday night.

The incident was reported just before 7:30 p.m. off the 16900 block of El Monte Road. An official with San Diego Lifeguard Services told 10News that a speeding Nitro struck a boat adrift in the water. The boats capsized and everyone onboard both vessels were ejected.

“He was running at a high rate of speed hugging the shoreline tightly, and as soon as he got out of view from us boom!” witness Todd Holverson said.

A 21-year-old man on the adrift boat was given CPR, but was pronounced dead on the scene, San Diego police said. A 20-year-old man who was on that boat remains missing.

Two people on the Nitro were taken to a trauma center with minor lacerations.

A San Diego Lifeguard dive team scoured the reservoir for the missing man Thursday night but called off the search at 9:30 p.m. The search resumed Friday morning. Heartland Fire & Rescue and the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department were also assisting.

El Capitan Reservoir would be closed Friday.

The Patrick Henry High School football team posted on its website Friday that  former player Russell Mendez was killed in the collision. Police have not released any names, however.

“It is with great sadness and sorrow that we say goodbye to a former Patriot,” the statement read. “Russell Mendez, a former varsity Linebacker for Patrick Henry died yesterday in boating accident at El Capitan Reservoir. Our prayers and thoughts are with the family.”

San Diego police are conducting the investigation into the crash because it happened in a city-owned reservoir, although it is about 30 miles northeast of downtown, authorities said.

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