Marine who stopped to help disabled vehicle on I-5 is killed in crash near Camp Pendleton

Map of area north of San Diego County

A U.S. Marine who stopped to help two people involved in a crash on south Interstate 5 near Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton was killed early Monday when he was struck on the freeway, authorities said.

The Marine’s name was not released, but authorities said he was 20 years old and stationed at the nearby base. The passenger and driver of the SUV were hospitalized with major injuries, the California Highway Patrol said in a news release.

The initial crash was reported around 3:22 a.m. south of Las Pulgas Road.

According to the CHP, a Ford Edge was headed south on the freeway when the driver lost control and crashed, leaving the car sitting in the traffic lanes with no lights on.


After the Marine stopped to help the SUV driver and passenger, a box truck driven by a 47-year-old man crashed into them. The Marine died at the scene.

The 36-year-old man driving the SUV and his passenger, a 31-year-old woman, were taken by ambulance to a hospital. Their condition was not released.

CHP Sgt. Nicole Pacheco said the driver of the SUV would be booked into jail on suspicion of multiple felonies after he is released from the hospital.

Most of the southbound lanes of the freeway were closed as officers investigated the fatal crash, and the bottleneck left traffic heading into San Diego County from Orange County backed up for miles.

Shortly before 9 a.m. — five hours after a traffic alert was issued — Caltrans reported on Twitter that it had reopened three of the four lanes.

San Diego Union-Tribune staff writer Teri Figueroa contributed to this report.