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UPDATED: Mom, Daughter Die in Accident Just South of Border Patrol Checkpoint

The SUV they were in collided with a tractor-trailer.

A woman and a child died in an accident when the SUV they were in collided with tractor-trailer just south of San Clemente. Patch file photo.
A woman and a child died in an accident when the SUV they were in collided with tractor-trailer just south of San Clemente. Patch file photo.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Updated at 5:11 p.m. to include home town of the accident victims. Originally published at 1:13 p.m. Dec. 10, 2013. 

An Oceanside resident and her 4-year-old daughter were killed today in a crash on Interstate 5 near San Onofre State Beach.

The woman was heading north in the Camp Pendleton area shortly before 9:30 a.m. when her 2007 GMC Yukon plowed into the rear of a stationary big rig at the end of a line of trucks preparing to enter the San Onofre Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Facility, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The impact left the hood and part of the interior of the SUV wedged underneath the cargo trailer of the supermarket delivery vehicle.

The 28-year-old motorist and her child, who was in the back seat of the SUV, died at the scene, CHP public-affairs Officer Jim Bettencourt said. Their names were withheld pending family notification.

The driver of the Ralphs semi was unhurt.

Intoxication was not believed to have been a factor in the crash, which left the entire northbound side of the freeway blocked for a time and created gridlock as far south as State Route 76 in Oceanside for hours.

By 11:30 a.m., two lanes were open, though a congestion alert remained in effect. The interstate was fully open again in the area as of 2:15 p.m., Bettencourt said.

- City News Service

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Cathy Chrislip Gronau December 10, 2013 at 08:16 PM
We drove past this accident going south on the 5 from San Clemente, right after it happened. It was a horrific site. It was on the northbound side of the 5 right after Las Pulgas and right before the Border Check Point Station. The Suburban SUV had re-ended an 18 wheeler and it was smashed completely to the back seat. I believe the driver and the front passenger were both killed and the child in the back seat was air lifted to a hospital. On our way home at 2 PM traffic was a crawling stop and go from Oceanside to San Clemente. It took us 2 hours to go that 30 miles. At the Las Pulgas off ramp we went through the Base to Basilone. Something tells me that the check point may have something to do with accidents. There was a traffic study done on rear end collisions when traffic is slowed down or narrowed. Goggle it, it makes sense. Nevertheless, it was a terrible accident and I pray for those poor lost souls in the front of that SUV. I don't believe the woman and child died, I believe it may have been the woman and the driver. R.I.P. whomever it was.
Shirley Dicktor December 10, 2013 at 10:11 PM
So very, very sorry to hear these details...heard about it the accident for several hours this morning.
PK December 11, 2013 at 03:06 AM
The roads and freeways of southern california are extrmely dangerous these days. Too many people, too many cars, going way too fast. Also the amount of trucks on our crowded freeways just compound the problem. WE NEED LIGHT RAIL NOW! Get people out of cars and into more practical and safe ways to travel. there are just too many people living here now, to expect 35 million California's and counting to get around safely. More freeways, toll roads and cars ARE NOT THE SOLUTION!
jeff s December 11, 2013 at 01:10 PM
Texting??
Penny Arévalo (Editor) December 11, 2013 at 04:30 PM
Followup here: http://sanclemente.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/chp-driver-didnt--brake-before-slamming-into-semi
Brenda December 16, 2013 at 04:23 AM
PK, you are right but unfortunately is not something that could be built fast. If people would just obey traffic laws, speeds, off and on ramp rules, trucks and tractor trailers minded their rules of the road, texting, yelling at kids, talking on the phone, falling asleep, putting on makeup and eating a big mac are unexceptable and take eyes off the road. All it takes is a second for it to happen and if drivers would stop and read the papers in So Cal for an hour one day and just see how many deaths we have involving vehicles they just might start obeying laws and being more careful. I go the speed limit ANYWHERE and I feel like a little ole lady (well 53 going on ole lady) going 45 in a 45 zone and everyone is passing me at 55-60mph. Or I watch without fail 3 to 5 cars drive right through red lights at almost each big intersection. Sure it might be 1 car sometimes but most of the time its 3 to 5. The worse part is when I do stop and the car behind me assumes I am going to run it like everyone else, and he slams on his brakes and gos to the center divider or something so he doesnt run right into me. Its like drivers are oblivious to what is goin on around them. When you get behind the wheel of a car its to drive and nothing else. If you cannot do that 100% and obey the laws then do NOT drive.
No one December 18, 2013 at 01:55 PM
Very sad and tragic. Is it my imagination or are this horrific accidents happening on a daily basis these days? Another one this morning on I-15 South near Temecula Border patrol--8 cars, 2 flipped over. Prayers for all. Slow down people, pay attention. No need to text or call people--get where you are going safely and do us all a favor.
Brenda December 18, 2013 at 04:10 PM
Becca, all the time. Actually the freeways seem to have gotten a bit better the last few months and its our streets that are horrible. So many serious injuries, deaths of innocents, either victims of DUI drivers, or those who drive wreckless, run red lights, speeding etc. Just be very careful and count to 5 before going on your green serious and look all ways to make sure someone is not running that light. There is always at least 1 car at big intersections but more like 3 to 5 running the lights. Then when they do it at 10mph over the speed limit of say 45, doing 55 its almost instant death to the drivers side they hit :/ I wish I could get alot of people together and start "something" , "do something" make people more aware of how they are driving, the tickets the police are trying to give out at certain intersections. I just cannot figure out how as the residents of Temecula we could help bring an end to some of these horrible wrecks that are senseless. If anyone could think of something we could do, let me know, because I would love to help in any way I could. Most residents probably do not even realize how many deaths we have by vehicle vs vehicle on almost a weekly basis and that is sad.
Ken December 20, 2013 at 09:28 PM
Sounds like the driver was distracted and didn'tq see the stopped traffic. My bet is the driver was either text messaging or yakking on her cell phone. I feel sorry for the 4 year old child that lost her life. It was better she rear ended a semi than another 4 wheeler because that would have taken someone else's life also. People put down those dam phones and pay attention to your driving.
Ricky Ross da boss December 27, 2013 at 07:25 AM
Understand you're not a mind reader.
KB December 27, 2013 at 03:00 PM
Many of these truck/trailers are death machines as well - poorly designed to prevent under-ride or absorb impact - which could easily be done. Unless you happen to be in a locomotive, tractor trailers are death machines - and often dangerously driven as well.
Danny Jones December 28, 2013 at 11:10 AM
KB, I drive a tractor trailer now that I retired from the Marines. I can tell you from my point of view, it's the 4 wheelers that are, 95% of the time, the dangerous ones. And you're wrong about impacting the rear of a truck- everyone sees the "DOT BAR" which is that steel bumper under a trailers' loading doors. It's there to keep people from goin under a truck. BUT, if you have a 5-8000 lb vehicle going over 65 mph, it's going under no matter what. If you only knew how many accidents a trucker prevents daily, you'd appreciate it. We can't speed up or slow as fast as a car- so when you get on the freeway doing only 50 mph trying to conserve fuel in a prius, don't expect me to slow down for you. Make sure the driver can see you when around his rig- don't be the guy that tried to hop in front of me from the break down lane where I didn't see him, but heard my lugnuts opening his BWM as he tried to squeeze in unseen. What I'm getting at is trucks are safe, the drivers are experienced. Just be mindful of the road and everyone will be ok.
Penny Arévalo (Editor) December 28, 2013 at 11:14 AM
Danny, what do you think of the possibility that the truck scales should have been closed since the lanes were full? I had a reader call me and suggest that.
Brenda December 28, 2013 at 06:02 PM
Danny you are spot on. Its a matter of everyone be aware of what is going on around them. Whether it be small car, big car, van, SUV, big rig with or without trailer, or two trailers, then add in motorcycles right, EVERYONE has to drive defensively and look out for each other. Know where you can go if you have to slam on your brakes, is it left or right to help avoid hitting the car in front of you or the one behind you hitting you. I have seen so many times a small car dart into the small space between a tractor and another car NOT EVEN REALIZING the tractor cannot even see him over his huge hood!! YES, then they do the slam on brakes and tractor plows into them. Thank God when I saw it happen it was bumper to bumper traffic but god the mess if it was at even 40 mph. Same with motorcycles. Yes, alot of them are great drivers, responsible and defensive, and are very aware of the flow of traffic. However we have those few who are bound and determined to ride in the middle of the lanes on the dummy bumps at 70+mph when the rest of us are stop and go. They end up being picked up by a shovel by the distraught firemen who do that job. :/ Its a matter of everyone being considerate, conscious of what is going on around them in all 2,3, 4, lanes, on and off ramps, escape routes etc. be defensive, and do not get road rage, do not break the laws of red lights, stop signs, speeding, drinking etc. SAFE A LIFE TODAY seriously and a good start is getting off the cells, texting, looking at your GPS, or chatting with your friend in the passenger seat.
Winchester Collection December 29, 2013 at 04:42 AM
She probably nodded off. Sad but these long commutes are very dangerous and these stories help us to understand what could happen. RIP to those that died. My prayers are with those left behind.
Danny Jones January 01, 2014 at 11:42 PM
Penny, I have only seen that scale closed maybe a handful of times in the past 20 years- even though the line of trucks just continues to grow longer and longer, rarely do they close it- at least not as soon as it should be. When you start getting trucks stacking up in the #4 lane, that to me becomes more of a safety concern than looking for a truck that's over a few thousand pounds. Most scales will close as soon as it becomes a safety issue, but never the San Onofre scales, in either direction. But that could also be due to the proximity to the border. Maybe if we had stronger immigration laws we could have safer roads, who knows???
Smokey Bear January 03, 2014 at 04:52 PM
Texting & driving, or doing anything except paying attention to driving, really makes me mad. and the thing is , that I hear young people bragging about being able to text & drive like it's not big deal & they are some hot sh++ for being able to text, drive with their feet while eating a burrito & watching TV. A car is a weapon & we all have to be responsible to pay attention to the road & not our ipods & the people in the back seat etc. I have never ever had an accident, except on my jet ski, but it wasn't my fault.
Gina January 08, 2014 at 09:55 PM
So, so sad.... I'm sure that mommy would not have done anything to harm her baby. Sad as it is I would guess texting... I see so many people doing it. I don't get it. Perhaps she bent over to grab a toy her child dropped... either way, it's a lesson on what can happen when you take your eyes off the road.
Shannan Buffolino January 23, 2014 at 05:31 PM
I hope it wasnt texting..so many woman text with the kids right in the car because they are in such a hurry, and think they can do it. I am a mom and drive an suv, and does anyone remember when we could first text easily, maybe about 8 years ago, before it was against the law?, well I remember texting on the freeway, but like quickly..but never with kids in the car, and I honestly thought it was ok..so weird that I thought that, but once I saw all the accidents that occurred and we all realized quickly how bad it was, and then against the law, but guess what,,that was a long time a go and people STILL DO IT..It angers me.. there is a website of people that have lost family members because of it..and if this was a case of texting and driving, which they havent said why, that person on the other end of the text is probably so horrified..Not the persons fault that sends from the other line, (although I will NEVER send a text when I know someone is driving) but the driver should keep the phone down and watch the road, and make that choice.. It can wait www.itcanwait.com
Shannan Buffolino January 23, 2014 at 05:32 PM
and no matter how it happened..it is such a sad sad heartbreaking story to hear about this mom and child that someone lost..hugs and kisses.. driving around on these freeways are so ridiculously dangerous anyways
Danny Jones January 26, 2014 at 01:14 PM
I heard she was darting from lane to lane to avoid the slowing traffic as you approach the check point. THe last time she darted around traffic in the #3 lane without slowing down and ran smack into the rear of the semi. It's sad that she killed her child because she chose not to drive safe. ANYONE who passes between Oceanside and San Clemente knows to expect that checkpoint to be open and stop traffic. No excuse here....
Stacy Klinger January 31, 2014 at 05:57 PM
Or maybe...just maybe, she was turned around, talking to her 4 year old. Many a time my child would say, "look at this mommy." Although we should NEVER take our eyes off the road, there isn't ONE SINGLE PERSON in the world who isn't guilty of this.

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