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Driver killed in crash on South Bay freeway ramp identified

Posted at 3:49 PM, Feb 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-13 18:49:22-05

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Authorities Thursday publicly identified a 21-year-old man who was killed when the sports car he was driving crashed off a South Bay freeway connector.

Jose Cruz Perez of Logan Heights lost control of the blue Nissan 350Z coupe while trying to merge onto eastbound state Route 54 from northbound Interstate 5 in National City at high speed shortly before 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, according to the San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office.

Alerted by a witness who saw Perez's vehicle veer off the connector and plunge down a steep embankment just south of the Sweetwater River, California Highway Patrol officers searched the area but were unable to find the car or driver.

About four hours after the accident, a worker at a shipbuilding yard alongside the freeway ramp found the wrecked Nissan in a mud pond with Perez's body partially ejected from the driver's side door, the CHP reported.