Authorities ID both drivers killed in head-on crash in Carlsbad

One of the drivers killed was a 19-year-old Camp Pendleton Marine

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CARLSBAD (CNS) – Authorities on Wednesday identified a Camp Pendleton Marine and a pickup driver who were both killed when the pickup crashed head-on into a sedan while heading the wrong way on Interstate 5 in Carlsbad.

Christian Zurita, 42 of San Diego, was driving a Ford F-150 southbound in the northbound lanes of I-5 just south of Las Flores Drive around 12:20 a.m. Tuesday when he slammed into a 2008 Pontiac sedan driven by 19-year-old Matthew Ryan Adams of Utah, according to information from the California Highway Patrol and the county Medical Examiner’s Office.

Adams — an active duty Marine stationed at Camp Pendleton — and Zurita were both pronounced dead at the scene, the Medical Examiner’s Office reported.

A 35-year-old San Diego man who was a passenger in the pickup was taken to a hospital for treatment of multiple broken bones and complaints of chest and neck pain, the CHP reported.

Around 12:12 a.m. Tuesday, Oceanside police pulled over Zurita for a minor traffic violation at Carmelo and Monterey drives, but he drove off in his pickup when an officer approached, according to Oceanside police.

Officers followed him onto southbound I-5 for a few minutes, but the pursuit was called off when Zurita started going the wrong way on northbound I-5, police said.