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Student from Portugal killed in head-on collision in Leucadia

ENCINITAS — 23-year-old Joao Rocadas died last week after hitting a pickup truck in the 1300 block of Leucadia Boulevard, according to the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s office. 

The crash occurred shortly before 7 p.m. on May 23.

According to Sgt. Anthony O’Boyle of the San Diego Sheriff’s Department, Rocadas was driving eastbound on Leucadia Boulevard in a Chrysler Sebring when he jumped a center median into westbound lanes. He collided head on with a Chevrolet pickup truck driven by a 43-year-old woman.

That impact caused the Chevrolet truck to smash into a Ford F-250 traveling in the same direction. The F-250 was driven by a 43-year-old man whose 12 and 9-year-old sons were also in the car.

Paramedics tried to resuscitate Rocadas at the scene, but he died before he could be taken to the hospital, according to the medical examiner’s office.

The woman driving the Chevrolet truck was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The 43-year-old man driving the F-250 and his sons were treated at the scene and released.

The Encinitas Sheriff’s Station Traffic Unit and the Sheriff’s Accident Reconstruction Team are investigating the collision.

Although still being reviewed, O’Boyle said it’s not believed the speed of Rocadas’ vehicle caused him to lose control of his vehicle. Alcohol use isn’t suspected.

According to the medical examiner’s office, Rocadas had a heart condition, which might have been a contributing factor in the collision. Rocadas lived in Carlsbad and came to the U.S. from Portugal to attend school, the medical examiner’s office report states.