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Fallbrook woman killed on State Route 78 on Friday

VISTA - Two of the people killed in a car accident with a suspected drunken driver on State Route 78 were identified today.

Susana Orozco, 23, of Escondido and Erica Oliva, 23, of Fallbrook were pronounced dead at the scene after a sport utility vehicle veered off state Route 78 and plowed into their car, which was parked on the shoulder, authorities said.

Orozco and Oliva, who were co-workers at Valley View Casino, were standing outside their car just west of Sycamore Avenue near North County Square mall in Vista when they were hit just after 12:30 a.m. Friday, according to the San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office.

One of the victims was driving a 2008 Nissan Altima and pulled to the side of the freeway because one of her three passengers was getting sick, according to the California Highway Patrol.

After parking on the shoulder, the driver got out of the car along with the other victim and 25-year-old Omar Guzman of Oceanside, CHP public affairs Officer Eric Newbury said.

A short time later, an oncoming 1994 Jeep Cherokee drifted off the freeway and smashed into the Altima and the two women standing alongside it, killing them instantly and hurling 21-year-old Gerardo Cortez of Oceanside out of the parked car.

Following the impact, the Cherokee skidded across the roadway and overturned, throwing the driver, 33-year-old Debbie Sumi of San Marcos, onto the pavement and partially ejecting her passenger, a 34-year-old Orange County resident. He died at the scene, and his name has not yet been released.

Medics took Sumi to Palomar Medical Center in Escondido for treatment of severe injuries and placed her under arrest on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and drunken driving.

Despite being flung out of the parked car, Cortez suffered only minor injuries, according to Newbury. Guzman escaped unscathed.

 

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