COVID-19 UPDATE: We are open! Our team is working and offering consultations via phone, e-mail, and video conferencing.

High-Speed Rollover Accident in La Jolla Leaves Four Injured

The McClellan Law Firm

Four people, including two children, were injured in an accident in La Jolla Thursday morning, when an SUV careened down a street in a residential area, struck a median and collided with two vehicles, traveling the length of a city block before finally coming to a stop on its side.

The accident occurred at about 9:45am on Nautilus Street at Avenida La Reina near La Jolla High School. According to witness accounts of the incident, a black BMW SUV was speeding down the street at an estimated 100 miles per hour when it jumped the median. The BMW then collided with a Mercedes minivan, causing the minivan to roll over two or three times, before it collided with a parked car, power pole and palm tree.

San Diego police dispatchers have said that the BMW was speeding when it flipped and slammed into the other vehicles.

A woman and her two daughters were in the minivan that was struck and rolled over, and crews working across the street rushed to their aid. One good Samaritan who responded to the accident said that they pulled the mother and her children out of the minivan through the vehicle's sunroof, and though they were considerably shaken up, they were treated for minor injuries.

The driver of the BMW reportedly suffered moderate injuries. He was trapped in his vehicle, and according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Battalion Chief, the crew had to cut through the floor of the vehicle to disentangle the driver's foot.

San Diego Gas & Electric crews responded to repair downed lines at the scene.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation, but whippets were found at the scene in the trunk of the BMW. Whippets are small nitrous oxide canisters that are commonly used in refillable whipped cream canisters, sometimes used as inhalant drugs. If the driver was under the influence of these inhalants at the time of the collision, he could face criminal charges for driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs. Regardless, he is likely to face criminal charges if investigators determine that he caused the collision through recklessness or negligence, as excessive speed may provide grounds for reckless driving charges under California law.

Another factor to consider in this accident is the roadway itself. Neighbors in the area have reported similar speeding-related collisions in the past, with one neighbor even showing a news reporter a photograph of a truck that flipped over and landed in his yard last year.

City officials have reportedly worked to address accidents on Nautilus Street, changing the once two-lane road into a one-lane road, which they say has had an impact. They are also considering installing electronic speeding signals, which would track drivers' speed and warn them to slow down.

Considering the severity of this collision and the number of vehicles involved, it is extremely fortunate that no one was catastrophically injured or killed. It is important to remember the dangers of speeding when we take to the road, and to also act as members of the community to report unsafe roadways so something can be done about them.

At The McClellan Law Firm, we are committed to representing the injured in La Jolla and across San Diego County. If you would like to learn what steps you can take if you have been injured in a car accident, a personal injury attorney at our firm can offer insight based on your unique situation. Your initial consultation is free and always confidential. Call today!