Car crash example. Photo via Pixabay.

A 59-year-old man was fatally injured when his compact SUV plunged off of a bridge and overturned in a creek bed just east of Temecula, authorities said Thursday.

John Odonnell of Trabuco Canyon died Wednesday night after the crash at the Temecula Creek Bridge on Highway 79, near Anza Road, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Officer Mike Lassig said that about 9:50 p.m. Wednesday, Odonnell was at the wheel of a 2003 Acura MDX going northbound on the highway at an unknown speed when he allowed the SUV to drift into the opposing traffic lane.

“The driver over-corrected, causing him to lose control of the vehicle,” Lassig said. “The vehicle collided into a wooden guardrail before traveling over the side of the Temecula Creek Bridge. The Acura came to rest in the creek wash with major rollover damage.”

Riverside County Fire Department crews reached the location within a few minutes and rendered treatment, after which the severely injured victim was taken to Inland Valley Medical Center in Wildomar, where he died shortly after 11 p.m.

The highway was completely shut down at the bridge for almost four hours while a preliminary investigation was conducted and the wreckage was cleared.

Anyone with information was asked to contact the CHP Temecula office at 951-506-2000.

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