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Driver killed in Mission Valley rollover crash despite heroic rescue attempt

Posted at 5:24 AM, Oct 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-06 01:53:49-04
SAN DIEGO – A man was killed in a rollover crash on Interstate 8 in Mission Valley early Wednesday morning despite heroic efforts by Good Samaritans to rescue him. 
 
According to witnesses, at around 1:30 a.m., a pickup truck traveling east on I-8 flipped several times before landing onto its side, just west of Interstate 15. The driver was pinned inside. 
 
Several Good Samaritans ran to the scene and lifted the truck up in order to pull the driver free.
 
"The car was on him, the top part of the car was on him,” a witness told 10News. 
 
The driver, identified as 23-year-old Nils Thorstenson, was rushed by paramedics to a nearby hospital. However, just after 5 a.m., California Highway Patrol spokesperson Tommy Doer confirmed that Thorstenson passed away at the hospital. 
 

His family describes him as a happy and fun 23-year old.  He was a good student who was a year and a half away from graduating from San Diego State with a degree in Business Finance.

His family still can't believe he's gone.

“I can’t thank the people who tried to save him enough,” said Nils’ mother Lynne Thorstenson. “I want to hold them and hug them and thank them from the bottom of my heart.”

Nils’ parents say he was on his way home from a party when the crash occurred.

“I feel sorry for the family. I wish I could have did more,” said James Parks, one of the men who attempted to save him.

 
Nils' parents plan to donate his tissues to Lifesharing, a nonprofit that matches tissues and organs with patients in need nationwide.
 
CHP is investigating the cause of the crash. Several lanes of I-8 east that were closed while crews cleared the scene have since reopened.