California: CHP says driver of Ford Explorer loaded with pool chemicals was DUI-drugs when she slammed into Mercedes and killed Bob and Alleta Durant

Valley Center crash scene where an elderly couple were killed by an Escondido woman DUI drugs CHP Photo courtesy of OnSceneTV




From NBCSandDiego
A Valley Center couple celebrating their 64th wedding anniversary were killed just miles from their home by a suspected DUI driver.

Bobby, 83, and Alleta Jo Durant, 81, were killed when a suspected drunk driver crossed into their lane and slammed into their Mercedes head-on Tuesday afternoon, California Highway Patrol (CHP) officials said.

The couple was celebrating their 64th wedding anniversary just before they were killed in the fatal crash, about five miles away from their home on the 28000 block of Lilac Road.

Friends knew the pair as Bob and Jo, and their daughter says they were always side-by-side. They met in high school and married when Bob was 19 and Jo was 17.

Twenty years ago, Bob and Jo moved to California and started growing avocados together.

Their daughter says they were good, family-oriented people. She would regularly get together with her parents and brother, who all live nearby.



VALLEY CENTER (06/28/2017) – A 27-year-old Escondido woman is in custody Wednesday on suspicion of driving while high on drugs when she caused a head-on crash that killed an 83-year-old man and his 81-year-old passenger Tuesday in rural North County.

CHP says driver of Ford Explorer loaded with pool chemicals was DUI-drugs when she slammed into Mercedes and killed both the driver and passenger from Valley Center

The fatal collision occurred about 1:10 p.m. in the 28000 block of Lilac Road in Valley Center when the woman’s 2007 Ford Explorer Sport Trac crossed into oncoming traffic, California Highway Patrol Officer Chris Parent said. Witnesses told law enforcement the Explorer collided head-on with a Mercedes-Benz E300.

The names of the victims were not immediately available, but Parent said the Mercedes’ driver was an 83-year-old Valley Center man and his passenger was an 81-year-old Oceanside woman. Both were pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the Explorer was flown to Palomar Hospital with major injuries and arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs, Parent said. Her name was not immediately released.

“It is suspected DUI so we are looking at prosecution,” said Captain Amy Mangan with California Highway Patrol.

The speed in the area of the crash is 55 miles-per-hour, but some Valley Center residents want a lower speed limit.

“I heard they were going to be dropping the speed limit, but the problems are falling off,” said Patrick Matthews.

For other Valley Center residents, the problem is the two casinos in Valley Center.  MORE

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