PASTOR OF JAMUL’S ST PIUS X CHURCH SERIOUSLY INJURED BY DRUNK DRIVER

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December 19, 2013 (Jamul) – Father Victor Mariestela, pastor at St. Pius X Church in Jamul, was struck head-on Tuesday night by a Ford Ranger while driving his SUV on Highway 94 west of Honey Springs Road.  He was flown by medical helicopter to Sharp Memorial hospital, suffering serious injuries including two broken legs, a broken hip and broken wrist.

The 23-year-old driver of the Ranger has been arrested for driving under the influence after crossing double lines and striking Father Mariestela’s SUV head-on. Father Mariestela’s SUV plunged 100 feet down an embankment.

Both drivers had to be extricated from the wreckage and the Ranger driver also suffered moderate to serious injuries, UT San Diego has reported.

The accident forced closure of Highway 94 for about two hours.

Kim Hamilton, editor of the Deerhorn Valley Antler, thanked readers who alerted her to the crash, prompting an Antler Alert to inform others.  “You helped many of your neighbors get home safely that night,” she wrote, adding, “I'm sure Father Victor would appreciate your good thoughts and prayers as he goes through what will be a challenging recovery.