MURRIETA, Calif. – California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers believe that a rushed motorist may have caused a crash that killed him late Thursday morning.
According to CHP officials, shortly before 11:25 a.m. the driver of a gray 2013 Ford Explorer, a 50-year-old Murrieta man, attempted to use the right shoulder to pass a semi-tractor trailer on the 15 freeway south. As the driver attempted to maneuver the right-shoulder pass, the vehicle crashed into the concrete overpass support. The force caused the Explorer to overturn onto its side. Within a minute the vehicle began smoking and burst into flames, the CHP incident report says.
When CHP officers and the Murrieta Fire Department arrived, the Explorer was fully involved. The driver of the Explorer was pronounced deceased at the scene.
CHP officials said that witnesses reported that the Explorer was in the slow lane driving around 70-75 mph. The driver attempted to pass, accelerating to around 80 mph. When the driver approached the 215 freeway overpass, he struck the concrete overpass support causing the vehicle to flip onto its side and catch fire.
The cause of the collision remains under investigation. The name of the driver is not being released at this time. No other injuries were reported as a result of the collision.
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- 15/215: Google Maps