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Ugly crash sparks concerns about growing illegal dumping problem

Posted at 5:05 PM, Jan 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-30 21:38:23-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - An evening drive in Mira Mesa ended with a terrifying crash, flying glass and utter disbelief after Ciara Carrasco saw what she hit.

On Monday just past 9 p.m., Carrasco was driving on on a dark Montongo Street near Tyrolean Road - blocks from her home - headed to get some food.

"All I remember was looking down at the dash for the time, and it was too late," said Carrasco.

In that blur of a moment, there was a metal-crunching collision.

"Just the sound of a big crash ... my car spun sideways. All I saw was my airbags and the white of the boat," said Carraso.

Near her car was an old boat and trailer, dumped partway in the street. A mattress that had been in the boat was also lying on the ground. Her Ford Focus was totaled. She would walk away with only cuts and bruises.

"I was just shocked. How did I hit this and make it through it?" said Carrasco.

Carrasco's mother Brooke is grateful, but angry over a problem that continues to pile up.

"This could have been a fatality story if it had been a different car or if the boat had been a few inches to the left," she said.

She told 10News the problem of illegal dumping is now a weekly one along a several-mile stretch of the Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve.

"Now you see big mattresses. I've seen a washer and dryer and refrigerators," she said.

She and her daughter say one issue is the dark street and lack of streetlights, an invitation for dumpers.

The trailer had Nevada plates, but the boat's registration expired two decades ago.

After 10news reached out to Councilmember Chris Cate's office, a spokesperson said they've directed city staff to begin looking into more streetlights for the area.

Cate's proposed 'Dumping for Dollars' program, which sought to reward tipsters in illegal dumping cases, was voted down in the city's Public Safety Committee last year.