Escondido, CA

Caltrans vehicle struck by impaired driver

Thursday, May 24at about 10:15 a.m. a 26 year old man from Escondido was driving a black Nissan Sentra on I-15 Northbound, south of 9th Avenue within the number one High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane.
According to California Highway Patrol spokesman Officer Mark Latulippe, an on duty Caltrans Dodge Ram pick-up truck, being driven by a male Caltrans employee from Chula Vista, was stopped within the center divider area, adjacent to the HOV lane ahead of the approaching Nissan. The driver of the Nissan allowed his vehicle to drift to the left into the center divider area and strike the rear of the Caltrans vehicle.
The driver of the Nissan sustained complaint of pain injuries and refused treatment at the scene. The Nissan had two male passengers who were injured during the collision.
The man seated within the right front seat of the Nissan sustained major injuries and the man seated in the right rear seat sustained moderate injuries. The Caltrans employee sustained moderate injuries. The passengers from the Nissan, and the Caltrans employee were treated at the scene and transported to Palomar Medical Center by Escondido Fire Department.
During the investigation the driver of the Nissan was determined to be impaired and was arrested at the scene under suspicion of driving under the influence of a drug.
I-15 Northbound was affected due to the on scene investigation from the time of the collision until approximately 11:35 a.m. This incident remains under investigation.
This incident is a reminder of the dangers Caltrans employees face every day while performing their duties. The California Highway Patrol reminds all drivers to never drive impaired and always reduce distraction within your vehicle.

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