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1 dead after SUV veers off SR-54, crash lands in Sweetwater River

Posted at 7:03 AM, Sep 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-25 16:07:47-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- A man died after an SUV veered off a freeway in the National City area and crash landed in the Sweetwater River Friday morning.

The California Highway Patrol said the incident involving a Lexus SUV was reported just before 5:40 a.m. on the westbound side of state Route 54, near the transition to Interstate 5.

ABC 10News learned a woman was walking on a bike path along the Sweetwater River when she saw a vehicle come off the freeway and down an embankment.

The woman told authorities that the SUV almost hit her and then crashed in the water.

Authorities at the scene confirmed that a man believed to be the driver was pulled from the water but died despite life-saving measures at the scene. The CHP identified the man as a 69-year-old Chula Vista resident.

A team of divers was sent into the water to determine if more people were in the SUV, but no other victims were located. The CHP later confirmed the deceased male was the SUV's lone occupant.

A tow truck helped pull the vehicle from the water.

The cause of the crash is under investigation and anyone who may have witnessed the incident is urged to contact local authorities.