It was a deadly start of the driving week on Escondido roads with the San Diego Medical Examiner’s Office late Tuesday identifying the latest local road victim as Galileo Esteban Diego, 21, of Temecula.
Diego died immediately after he crashed his silver 2006 Dodge Caravan westbound on Country Club Lane near Broadway just before 7:30 p.m. Monday. His minivan was nearly torn in half when it struck a tree in the center divide, Escondido Police Lt. Scott Walters said.
Diego was trapped inside his vehicle for several hours due to difficulty removing him from the wreckage, Walters said. Country Club between Broadway and Iris Lane was closed for about four hours during that time.
“The car and tree are directly on the other side of my fence,” Claudine Montes posted on the Escondido Fights Crime Facebook page. “I watched the investigators late into the night. I have windshield glass in my backyard. Very sad situation.”
Speeding was suspected as the cause for Diego’s vehicle to drift off the roadway and crash “based on the damage,” Walters said. It was in an area known for speeding vehicles, according too neighbors.
It was unknown if alcohol was a factor in the collision. The traffic investigation was ongoing and conducted by Officer Mike Nelson of the Traffic Division, according to Escondido Police Lt. Mike Kearny.
The fatal crash came just one day after another serious injury collision on Escondido streets. That horrible accident happened just before 3:30 p.m. Sunday in the area of Auto Parkway and Hale Avenue, according to Kearney.
“Officers arrived and found a 2011 Toyota Scion overturned in the roadway,”” Kearney said. “The sole female driver was partially ejected from the vehicle and suffered serious head and neck injuries. She was transported by Escondido Fire to Palomar Hospital for treatment. The driver was identified as Ruth Moreno, 33 years old, from Escondido.”
According to witnesses and physical evidence at the scene, it appears the vehicle was traveling south on Auto Parkway and was making a left turn to Hale Avenue, police said. The vehicle left the roadway and drove onto the south sidewalk.
The vehicle struck a steel guide wire causing it to overturn, Kearney said. The driver did not appear to be wearing her seatbelt. No updates have been given on the condition of the driver.
The traffic investigation was being conducted by Officer Tom Venable of the Traffic Division. Anyone with information on this case is encouraged to call Officer Venable at (760) 839-4483.