3 killed in rollowver accident on I-8

August 16, 2001|By MARIO RENTERÍA, Staff Writer

SEELEY — Three San Diego residents were killed and four more people were injured in a single-vehicle accident on Interstate 8 south of here.

A press release from the California Highway Patrol states seven individuals, five from San Diego and two from Chula Vista, were heading east on Interstate 8 around 5:05 p.m. Wednesday and were just west of Forrester Road, which is west of El Centro.

The press release states the van in which the group was traveling was in the right lane.

The 22-year-old male driver for unknown reasons started to veer onto the asphalt shoulder. The driver tried to steer back to the left but that caused the vehicle to roll.

The driver and two passengers died. The driver's identity was not available this morning because his next of kin hadn't been notified of the death by the authorities.


Also killed were Mark Anthony Gonzalez, 25, and Roberto Gomez Lopez, 24.

The four passengers surviving the accident were Earl Jones, 21, Juan Mercado, 37, both of San Diego, and Jose Angulo, 21 and Sean Goodman, 21, both of Chula Vista.

Jones and Angulo suffered major injuries while Goodman suffered minor injuries and Mercado had moderate injuries. All four were taken to the El Centro Regional Medical Center.

A representative of the hospital said Jones was transferred to the University of California San Diego Medical Center and the other three were treated and released.

The driver of the van was wearing a seat belt, as was Mercado. The rest of the passengers were not wearing safety belts.

Highway Patrol Public Information Officer Roland Pritchard said when officers arrived at the scene there were many people stopped.

As the investigation continued the people began to leave before CHP officers could interview them.

Pritchard urged anyone who witnessed the accident to contact the CHP office in El Centro at 352-4111.

Imperial County Sheriff' Deputy Jesse Lopez, a backup officer with the Coroner's Office, said Gonzalez and the driver are related.

He also said investigators are not sure where the men were headed.

The accident is still under investigation.

Staff Writer Mario Rentería can be reached at 337-3435.

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