43-year-old woman killed in suspected DUI crash on Winchester Road

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A woman was killed Friday afternoon when an allegedly-drunk driver slammed into her car while she was stopped at a French Valley intersection.

The deadly crash happened a little after 4 p.m., when a 35-year-old man behind the wheel of a 2020 Kia Optima was traveling south “at a high rate of speed” on Winchester Road in a left turn lane at Thompson Road, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Mike Lassig. The man failed to brake as he approached the rear of a 2017 Ford Fusion that was stopped at the red light, and he slammed into the back of the sedan.

The force of the impact sent the Ford, which was being driven by a 43-year-old Winchester woman, into the intersection where it struck a 2016 Toyota Corolla with a 23-year-old San Marcos woman behind the wheel, Lassig said.

The woman in the Ford was seriously injured; she was rushed in an ambulance to Inland Valley Medical Center in Wildomar, but she succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced dead a little more than 30 minutes after the crash. Authorities did not immediately release her name.

A passenger in the Kia was taken to the same hospital with minor injuries, while the Toyota driver was not hurt, according to Lassig.

The Kia driver, identified as Joshua Morris of Temecula, was arrested on suspicion of felony driving under the influence. The CHP was continuing to investigate the crash Friday night.

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