Two San Diego police detectives were among three people killed Friday morning in a head-on crash after a car drove on the wrong side of Interstate 5 in San Ysidro, according to a spokesman for the city of San Diego.
The fatal crash took place shortly after 10:20 a.m. when the driver of a Honda Civic began traveling north on the southbound lanes of I-5, said a CHP spokesman.
The Honda burst into flames after the crash, CHP spokesman Salvador Castro said at a news conference held at the scene on Friday afternoon.
“Heroic efforts from San Diego Fire were unable to rescue any of the occupants in either vehicle,” Castro said. “Despite rescue efforts, all of the victims died at the scene…. After everything settled, our officers located three bodies. Two in a white Ford sedan and one in the Honda Civic.”
Castro later clarified the Ford sedan was blue in color.
Authorities have not yet identified the victims but did say the wrong-way driver was female. The occupants in the Ford sedan have been identified as male and female.
Castro said the San Diego County medical examiner would be releasing the names at a future time.
City spokesman Jose Ysea was unable to say if the officers were on- or off-duty at the time of the crash.
“Law enforcement is a family, regardless of what jurisdiction you’re in so when we lose an officer, and unfortunately today, we lost two, it’s a big blow to the entire law enforcement community,” Ysea said. “Needlessly and especially when you have a regrettable accident like today.”
San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria issued a somber statement Friday on the tragedy.
“It is with heavy hearts that we mourn our two San Diego Police Department officers whose lives were tragically taken this morning,” Mayor Gloria said in his statement. “In the coming days, we will learn more about these public servants who proudly donned the badge to keep all of us safe and we will honor them for their service. I ask San Diegans to keep the officers and their families in your prayers.”
Castro said investigators were working to determine where the wrong-way driver entered the freeway. It’s not known if drugs or alcohol played a role in the crash, Castro said.
The wrong-way crash that killed two SDPD officers in San Ysidro marks the third wrong-way crash in a week for San Diego County. NBC 7’s Alexis Rivas reports.
Southbound I-5 near SR-905 was closed while the crash was being investigated. Southbound lanes reopened at around 5:20 p.m.
Friday’s incident was the third wrong-way crash in San Diego County this week. On Tuesday, a 52-year-old woman was killed in a Carmel Valley collision after a wrong-way driver entered I-5, and on Friday at around 4 a.m., a wrong-way driver suspected of being under the influence caused a crash on I-15 in Fallbrook.
Editor’s Note: This article originally stated that the CHP had confirmed that two of the crash victims were SDPD officers, when, in fact, a city spokesman had provided that information to NBC 7.