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One dead after big rig rolls on Route 76 near Valley Center


Last updated 3/14/2019 at 4:30pm

ESCONDIDO - A trucker was killed on Thursday, March 14 and a man riding with him was injured when a big rig crashed and overturned on a winding rural road a few miles southwest of Palomar Mountain State Park.

The driver of the Peterbilt flatbed tractor-trailer lost control due to excessive speed while heading west on state Route 76 in Pauma Valley shortly after 8 a.m., according to the California Highway Patrol.

The vehicle, which was hauling bags of landscaping mulch, toppled over and slid into a roadside ditch near Rincon Ranch Road, leaving the trucker and his passenger, both from Indio, trapped inside.

The 54-year-old driver died at the scene of the accident. His name was withheld pending family notification.

Emergency crews freed the 55-year-old passenger from the wreckage and airlifted him to Palomar Medical Center in Escondido for treatment of minor injuries, CHP public-affairs Officer Kevin Smale said.

The accident forced lane closures in the area into the mid-afternoon, Smale said.


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