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Head-on crash on SR-78 in Vista leaves one driver dead

Posted at 7:04 AM, Jan 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-04 15:02:34-05

VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) — Two people were seriously injured and rushed to the hospital after a wrong-way crash late Sunday in Vista.

Two vehicles collided on westbound State Route 78 just east of Sycamore Dr. before 10:30 p.m., according to California Highway Patrol. Officers said they received reports of a pickup truck traveling at a high speed in the fast lane.

Officers say the 36-year-old driver of a 2009 Toyota Tacoma was traveling the wrong direction for an unknown reason before it collided head-on with a 2004 Toyota Matrix.

The male driver of the Tacoma and 24-year-old female driver of the Matrix were both trapped inside the wreckage. Crews had to use the jaws-of-life to pull both individuals from the vehicles.

Both were rushed to Palomar Medical Center in Escondido. The woman was pronounced dead at the hospital. The man's condition was not immediately known.

CHP says alcohol is suspected to be a factor in the crash.

The westbound lanes of SR-78 were closed into early Monday as CHP officers investigated.