Hit-Run Kills Illegal Alien Near Border

Times Staff Writer

An unidentified man was killed Tuesday night in a hit-and-run accident as he attempted to run across Interstate 5 near the U.S.-Mexican border, marking what CHP officials say is the eighth illegal alien killed this year trying to cross a San Diego freeway.

A coroner’s spokesman said the man, believed to be in his 20s, suffered multiple injuries and was found dead about 8 p.m. after being struck in the far left lane of southbound Interstate 5 about a quarter of a mile south of Dairy Mart Road. He said there were skid marks leading up to the body.

Wearing Black Clothes

California Highway Patrol investigators said Wednesday there were no witnesses. The man was wearing black jeans, a black leather jacket and white, high-top tennis shoes.


Since Jan. 1, 1985, 72 undocumented aliens have been killed while trying to cross Interstate 805, Interstate 5 and nearby roadways. About 39% of those cases involved a hit-and-run driver, according to CHP statistics.

Virtually all of the fatalities--98% were of Mexican nationals, the rest Central Americans--have occurred within 5 miles of the border, and 60% of them occurred in northbound lanes.

About 62% of those illegal aliens killed while crossing San Diego freeways since 1985 have been 21 to 30 years old, according to CHP statistics. Most of the rest have been from 31 to 40.

The carnage on the freeways has attracted growing public attention and has prompted authorities to take action.


Move Begun to Cut Danger

In the first step of what state officials say is a multipronged effort to reduce the growing traffic hazard to illegal-alien pedestrians, a flashing sign--warning “Watch for People Crossing Road"--was posted earlier this year along the grid of freeways just north of the border.

State transportation officials have also begun trimming back bushes along the freeways where illegal aliens hide while waiting for a chance to cross. State officials are also providing U. S. Customs agents at the border crossing with handouts that warn northbound motorists to “watch out for pedestrians who may be illegally crossing the freeways for the next 5 miles.”