On Friday, February 12 at approximately 11:19 p.m., an Escondido Police officer stopped a car near Mission Ave and Gamble St for a traffic violation. What the officer didn’t know at the time, is that the car was being driven by a 13 year-old girl from Vista who took her mom’s car without her knowing. The girl’s juvenile friend was a passenger in the car. As the officer approached the car on foot to make contact with the driver, the girls fled in the vehicle. The girls drove east on Mission Ave and apparently tried to turn left onto north Ash St. They apparently lost control and their car slid into the planter on the east side of the road near a SDG&E transfer facility.
Once the police caught up to the car and discovered the crash, the girls were detained at the scene. Officers tragically discovered that two men who were sleeping in the bushes had been struck by the vehicle. One man was pronounced deceased at the scene. The other man later died at the hospital. The police and the Medical Examiner’s office are still trying to identify the men, but they both were adults and believed to be homeless. The girls were arrested and later released to their parents.
On a side note, while officers were conducting traffic control duties for the collision investigation, a DUI driver struck a police car that was blocking the closed roadway. The police car had all of the emergency lights activated and was unoccupied. No one was injured and the driver was arrested for DUI.
Anyone with information regarding crash is encouraged to contact Officer Adan Martinez at 760-839-4465 or via the tip line (760) 743-TIPS (8477).