ESCONDIDO — Authorities have identified two 19-year-old North County residents who died late March 25 when another driver apparently ran a red light and broadsided their car in an Escondido intersection.
Brando Noe Contreras of Oceanside and Ana Maria Lira of Escondido both died shortly before 11:30 p.m. Sunday from multiple blunt force injuries suffered in the collision, according to the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office. Another passenger in their car and the driver of the other vehicle were also injured.
According to witnesses and the initial investigation, it’s believed Contreras was driving a Ford Mustang westbound on East El Norte Parkway when a northbound Dodge Charger sped through a red light on North Ash Street, authorities said. The Charger struck the Mustang on the driver’s side, sending it rolling side over side into a residential front yard, where it came to rest on its roof.
Investigators believe intoxication may have been a factor in the accident, which left traffic lanes shut down for several blocks in all directions until about 7 on Monday morning, according to Escondido police Lt. Ed Varso.
Contreras, who was not wearing a seat belt, was thrown from the Mustang when it was hit and landed in a driveway about 20 feet from where the car settled on its roof, according to the Medical Examiner’s Office. Lira, who was wearing a seat belt in the back of the Mustang, was pinned inside the car.
Escondido firefighters from nearby Station 7 arrived at the scene “within one minute,” Varso said. But the quick response ultimately didn’t matter for Contreras and Lira, who were pronounced dead at the scene without any life-saving efforts “due to obvious fatal trauma,” according to the Medical Examiner’s Office.
It wasn’t immediately clear if the Charger’s driver could face criminal charges.
— City News Service