2 San Diego police officers among three people killed in wrong-way crash in San Ysidro

Vehicles wrecked in collision
San Diego Fire-Rescue firefighters work on two cars involved in a fatal crash on Interstate 5 south of State Route 905 on Friday morning. Authorities said three people died in the suspected wrong-way crash about 10:25 a.m. Two of the victims were San Diego police officers.

Three people are dead, including two San Diego Police Department officers, after a wrong-way driver heading north in the southbound Interstate 5 lanes in San Ysidro collided with an oncoming car Friday morning, authorities said.

The fiery head-on crash happened just before 10:25 a.m. on the I-5 near State Route 905, California Highway Patrol Officer Jim Bettencourt said. He said the car headed in the wrong direction was reportedly going at “a high rate of speed.”

That car, a Honda Civic, burst into flames during the crash, CHP Officer Sal Castro said.


Three bodies were found in the wreckage of the two cars — one woman was in the Honda, and a man and a woman were in a blue Ford Fusion sedan, Castro said. The Ford is owned by the city of San Diego.

“As police officers, we lost a brother and a sister today,” Castro said.

San Diego police confirmed that two of the dead are officers with the department.

“Very regrettable to announce that two of our San Diego police officers have died as a result of this wrong-way accident,” San Diego Fire-Rescue Department spokesman Jose Ysea told OnScene.TV.

San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit was among those who went to the crash scene on the freeway, roughly two miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border.

Mayor Todd Gloria issued a statement about the loss of the two officers.

“It is with heavy hearts that we mourn our two San Diego Police Department officers whose lives were tragically taken this morning,” Gloria said.


“In the coming days, we will learn more about these public servants who proudly donned the badge to keep all of us safe and we will honor them for their service. I ask San Diegans to keep the officers and their families in your prayers.”

Castro said a call came in just after 10:20 a.m. to report a wrong-way driver headed up the freeway. Calls about the fiery crash soon followed. There were no survivors.

A few hours after the crash, a procession of more than a dozen motorcycle officers led a coroner’s van away from the site.


10:36 p.m. June 4, 2021: This story was updated with additional details.