Student from Portugal killed in car crash in San Diego County

A reward of $1,000 is being offered for information leading to an arrest in the traffic collision in Encinitas that killed a 23-year-old citizen of Portugal.

Joao Rocadas, who was attending the Golf Academy of America campus in Carlsbad, was killed Thursday night when he lost control of his Chrysler Sebring, crossed the median and collided head-on with a Chevrolet pickup driven by a 43-year-old woman, according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.

The pickup then hit a Ford F250 pickup driven by a 43-year-old man with his sons, ages 12 and 9, as passengers.


Rocadas died at the scene. It remains unknown whether speed or alcohol was involved in the accident, which occurred at 7 p.m. on Leucadia Boulevard near Interstate 5, the Sheriff’s Department said.

The woman was taken to the hospital with non-threatening injuries, and the father and his sons were treated at the scene.

The cause of Rocadas’ death was blunt-force trauma from the collision, with contributing causes listed as an enlarged heart and inflammation of the lining of the stomach, according to the county medical examiner.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Department of the San Diego Crime Stoppers (888 580-8477).