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I-805 highway deaths in National City spark family's search for answers

I-805 highway deaths in National City spark family's search for answers
Posted at 4:23 PM, Oct 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-22 20:38:34-04

NATIONAL CITY, Calif. (KGTV) - Loved ones are in search of answers after a mother of two, along with her boyfriend, were killed in a bizarre incident on the Interstate 805 last weekend.

“I want to know what really happened. I need to know what really happened,” Elizabeth Flores said.

Flores said she is haunted by the details of the death of her granddaughter, Michelle Ibarra, 26.

“Just keep reliving it. When I learned about the manner in which she passed … Oh, my God,” Flores said.

On Sunday, around 8:30 p.m., Ibarra had just gotten off work at a smoke shop. She and her boyfriend, River Altamirano, 28, were in her car, heading north on I-805, south of Plaza Boulevard, when they collided with another car.

The CHP said they got out of the car, jumped over the center divider and tried to cross the southbound lanes, where they were struck by two different vehicles and killed.

“There is a hole in your heart, getting deeper and deeper and deeper. You can only scream so much,” Flores said.

“She was just a beautiful, loving soul,” said her brother, Anthony Ibarra.

Family members said she was a devoted mom of a 9-year-old and a 7-year-old, a sensible person would would never run into traffic after an accident.

“Just not in her nature. That would not be her nature at all,” Flores said.

Loved ones call the mystery surrounding her death, painful. They're hoping witnesses will come forward to fill in the missing pieces.

“We wonder how this all started," Ibarra said. "We wonder if there was an argument … people who saw them flee … Who jumped over the wall first? Who was chasing who, or who was running from who?’"

Family members hope the answers will help them cope with their grief.

“We hope it will give us a better understanding to help us deal with it,” Flores said.

Toxicology results aren't in, and investigators have not yet said if alcohol or drugs are believed to be factors.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call the CHP San Diego office at 858-293-6000.

A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help the family with expenses.