A man was killed and a female passenger seriously injured after their vehicle left the road and crashed into a drainage ditch early Sunday morning in El Cajon.

According to the California Highway Patrol, officers first received word about the accident at around 6:40 a.m. near Greenfield Drive, though it is believed that the accident itself may have taken place the night before.

The two were reportedly traveling westbound in their 1981 Jeep SUV when the vehicle drifted off the road, into a drainage ditch, and into a collection of large boulders. The vehicle finally came to a stop on its wheels, but only after suffering major damage to all sides.

Responding police said that at the time of the crash, the two were only wearing the lap belt portion of their seat belts, and not their shoulder harnesses. The driver of the vehicle, a 22 year old El Cajon native, suffered serious head injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene. Additional information about the driver has yet to be released by local authorities.

The female passenger, who has yet to be identified, was also rushed to Sharp Memorial Hospital for treatment of life-threating injuries. She was immediately placed on life support upon her arrival.

Officers at the scene also reported that there was evidence indicating that alcohol may have been a factor in the crash, through an official word will not be made until the San Diego County Coroner’s office makes a thorough examination of the driver.

The crash forced a temporary shutdown of westbound La Cresta Road as police and cleanup crews worked to remove the accident from the ditch. Most of the vehicle was reduced to a mess of twisted steel, calling for it to be dragged away from the scene with cranes and tow trucks. After nearly three hours, the road was fully reopened in both directions.

When behind the wheel, it is essential to remain focused on the road ahead, and on the task of driving. When your attention is drawn elsewhere, dangerous accidents such as this can result. If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident, there are steps to take to help you recover.

Depending on the circumstances that led to your accident, you may be entitled to compensation, which we at AA Accident Attorneys can help you receive in full. Our team of experienced San Diego car accident lawyers can guide you through the legal process and get you what you rightfully deserve.

As always, we will not charge you anything for our legal services until your case is won. Call us today for a free evaluation and to learn what our accident lawyers can do for you!