East County News Service
February 22, 2016 (Campo) — An 11-year-old girl died in a fiery three-vehicle crash at the Border Patrol checkpoint on Interstate 8 westbound in Campo. Four other people are hospitalized with moderate to major injuries from the collision last night at 9 p.m.
A San Diego woman, 29, driving a Toyota Camry at 70 miles an hour west of Buckman Springs Road slammed into stopped traffic at the checkpoint and struck a Lexus driven by a woman, 18, from Long Beach with the 11-year-old girl in the passenger seat. The impact pushed the Lexus into a Honda Pilot ahead of it with four people inside, including two children.
“The Lexus immediately caught fire,” Officer Kevin Pearlstein with California Highway Patrol stated. The young girl was trapped inside and died at the scene.
The driver of the Toyota that caused the crash was taken to Sharp Memorial Hospital with major injuries. She will face manslaughter charges, according to Officer Pearlstein. Drugs and alcohol are not believed to be factors.
The driver of the Lexus was transported to Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego with moderate injuries. Two children in the Toyota were taken to Children’s Hospital with major injuries.
The five occupants of the Honda, including a driver from El Cajon, were not injured.
East County Magazine recently published an article in which residents voiced concerns about potential dangers to motorists posed by another Border Patrol Checkpoint on State Route 94. Residents had indicated long back-ups around a highway curve were hazardous since drivers could have difficulty seeing stopped traffic in time to stop. In our article, a Border Patrol official had cited the I-8 checkpoint as an example of a safer set-up, since it is along a relatively straight stretch of highway.