Two young women were ejected from their car and struck by oncoming vehicles after their vehicle rolled over and crossed the Interstate 15 median late Tuesday evening, February 3.
Brittany Lee Grell, 18, and Shelbi Billingslea, 21, both of Escondido, were traveling southbound in the number one lane of I-15 at approximately 10:48 p.m. in a 2005 Chrysler Sebring near the Gopher Canyon Road exit when their vehicle crossed over to the right “in an erratic manner,” then back across into the dirt center divider median.
The Sebring traveled down a dirt embankment and rolled several times, coming to rest partially in the first lane of northbound traffic. Both Grell and Billingslea were ejected from the vehicle and landed in the northbound traffic lanes.
Both women were hit by several oncoming vehicles. Grell was pronounced dead at the scene. Billingslea suffered severe injuries and was transported to Palomar Trauma Center. Her condition is unknown at this time.
According to witnesses, the vehicle was traveling at a speed of approximately 90 mph when the incident occurred. There were some allegations that the driver of the Sebring swerved to avoid hitting a coyote on the road.
California Highway Patrol Officer Eric Newbury could not confirm that was the reason for the rollover but did say that the high speed and fact that neither of the women was wearing a seatbelt did have a role in the outcome of the accident.
It is still unclear whether alcohol and/or drugs played a factor.
“This is just another tragic story that could have been avoided,” said Newbury.
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