An emergency vehicle. Photo by John Schreiber.
An emergency vehicle. Photo by John Schreiber.

Authorities Monday were trying to figure out why a 27-year-old man from San Juan Capistrano was driving so fast that his seat belt broke in the deadly crash of his sedan into a utility pole where he was sent through the windshield onto to the road before being run over by another vehicle.

Diego Escamilla Lopez was identified by officials as the dead driver who crashed at 2:30 a.m. Sunday at Pacific Coast Highway and Doheny Park Plaza, said Orange County Sheriff’s Lt. Jerry Carlsen and the coroner’s office.

Ivestigators did not speculate about the possibility of  alcohol involvement in the crash about a half-hour after bars close in California. They also did not say if the driver died going through the windshield or if he was killed when he was run over.

Witnesses told sheriff’s investigators Lopez’s sedan had been seen southbound at about 100 mph on PCH, Carlsen said.

“The driver (Lopez) lost control of the vehicle, struck a light pole, was ejected through the windshield and run over by at least one vehicle,” the lieutenant said. Paramedics pronounced Lopez dead at the scene.

Lopez was wearing a seat belt. “He was driving at such a high rate of speed the seatbelt was pulled away from its anchor point” when the vehicle struck the pole, Carlsen said.

The driver of the vehicle that ran over Lopez stopped at the scene, he said.

The sheriff’s Major Accident Reconstruction Team was investigating the crash and a SigAlert was issued closing Pacific Coast Highway between Doheny Park Road and Dana Point Harbor Drive for much of the day, Carlsen said.

–City News Service

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