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Man killed in East San Diego County by runaway Smart Car

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Posted at 1:02 PM, Jun 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-21 16:02:30-04

POTRERO, Calif. (CNS) - A 71-year-old man was killed when he was run over by his own Smart Car after he unhitched it from a motorhome at a campground in the far southern reaches of San Diego County, authorities said Friday.

The accident happened around 5 p.m. Thursday at Potrero County Park, northeast of Tecate, California Highway Patrol Officer Jeff Christy said.

The Federal Way, Washington, resident had just returned from a trip to Mexico and parked his motorhome, which was towing a late model Smart Car, at the campground, Christy said.

When the man, whose name was withheld pending family notification, uncoupled the hitch between the Smart Car and the rear of the motorhome, the car began to roll backward, the officer said.

``The male had failed to ensure the emergency brake was set on the Smart Car,'' Christy said. ``The male ran to the rear of the vehicle and attempted to stop its movement, but was overcome by its momentum.''

The car ran over the victim, pinning him underneath it.

Witnesses contacted emergency personnel while good Samaritans attempted to lift the car off of him, but they were unsuccessful, Christy said.

Firefighters arrived and lifted the car off the victim using hydraulic jacks, then paramedics attempted life-saving measures, but the man was pronounced dead at the scene, he said.