Update, 6 p.m
.—An 83-year-old unidentified man was killed when the 2005 Dodge Magnum he was driving hit two power poles and overturned on State Route 78 east of Old Julian Highway about 1 p.m. Thursday afternoon, California Highway Patrol Officer Brian Pennings reports.
The vehicle was westbound, traveling at an unsafe speed when it went off the edge of the roadway as it entered a left-hand turn in the road and hit the two San Diego Gas & Electric power poles, severing both of them at the base, said Pennings. The driver was partially ejected from the vehicle and suffered fatal injuries, said Pennings.
The power poles were lying across the road, blocking both lanes and cutting power to several residents. The road was closed for about three hours to document the physical evidence and clear the roadway, said Pennings.
There was no evidence of alcohol or drugs, but officials are awaiting determination from the medical examiner’s office, noted Pennings.
The driver was the sole occupant of the vehicle.
CHP notified the Ramona Unified School District that the road would be blocked for several hours between Old Julian Highway and the 78/89 intersection in Santa Ysabel. Lynette Beard, the district’s transportation supervisor, said the district called the parents of about 50 students affected by the transportation department inability to get the students home by bus and the students remained at their schools until their parents arrived. Affected students attend Ramona High School, Olive Peirce Middle School, and Barnett Elementary School.
Update, 2:13 p.m., Jan. 31
—CHP has advised Ramona Unified School District that the road will be closed for several hours. Details about the incident are not immediately available, reports CHP Officer Brian Pennings.
Thursday, Jan. 31—
State Route 78 is closed from Old Julian Highway to the 78/79 junction in Santa Ysabel as the result of an accident resulting in a fatality, according to the California Highway Patrol website. A power pole is reportedly across both lanes.
It is unknown how long the road will be closed.
CHP received a report of an overturned vehicle in the westbound lane of SR-78 at 28383 SR-78 at 12:59 p.m. No other information is available at this time.