1 killed in Thanksgiving crash on I-15

A car slammed into the back of an ambulance that was already at the scene of a crash on southbound I-15 near Mission Road Thanksgiving morning, killing a passenger and seriously injuring the driver. Photo courtesy of North County Fire Protection District on Twitter.

One person died after the vehicle they were riding in slammed into the back of an ambulance that was already at the scene of a crash on Interstate 15 near Fallbrook Thanksgiving morning.

Dispatchers first received word at 10:10 a.m. of a southbound Ford Mustang that had spun out into the center divide of I-15 just south of Mission Road, according to information from North County Fire Protection District spokesman John Choi and the California Highway Patrol.

About 20 minutes later, the driver and passengers of the Mustang were being evaluated in the back of an ambulance when another driver came into the crash scene “at a high rate of speed” and struck the ambulance, Choi said.

Crews responded to rescue the driver and passenger of the second vehicle, a Ford Crown Victoria. The passenger was pronounced dead at the scene, while the driver sustained life-threatening injuries and was taken to Palomar Medical Center in Escondido.

The driver, passengers, paramedics and a CHP officer from the initial crash suffered minor injuries and were also taken to a hospital as a precaution, Choi said.

The three left lanes of southbound I-15 were shut down while crews worked to clean up the crash, snarling southbound traffic back to Rainbow Valley Boulevard as of 11:30 a.m. There were no northbound closures, but major congestion was reported as far back as Escondido.

Will Fritz can be reached by email at wfritz@reedermedia.com.