Driver in tragic Rainbow Creek drowning had meth in system

Accident also claimed life of five-year-old boy
Posted at 3:30 PM, Mar 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-14 18:51:08-04

FALLBROOK, Calif. (KGTV) - The autopsy report of a Fallbrook man who was found dead in Rainbow Creek last January, after heavy rainfall ravaged the area, revealed methamphetamine and alcohol could have been a contributing factor in his death.

The body of Roland Eugene Phillips, 73, was discovered on Jan. 22 after a 911 caller reported seeing a child in Rainbow Creek following heavy rainfall and flooding in the 4800 block of 5th Street near Old Highway 395. Authorities had to wait to until the next day to extract Phillip's body to allow the creek's water level to recede. 

After the water level fell, Phillips' car was found on its roof, submerged in the creek.

A report from the San Diego County Medical Examiner listed methamphetamine and alcohol use as contributing factors in Phillips' death - as well as hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.

The ME's report noted a small amount of meth and alcohol detected in his blood, according the media reports. The report listed his death as a "drowning."

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The accident also claimed the life of five-year-old Phillip Campbell, a family friend of Phillip. The two were believed to be traveling together when the car was swept away by the flooded creek, according to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.

A family member told authorities the two were heading to Riverside County to check out a car for sale.

Campbell's body was located a mile downstream from the accident by inmates contributing to the search effort, after four days of searching by swift water search and rescue teams.