Victim in 52 freeway rollover crash identified

SANTEE (KUSI) – Authorities Wednesday publicly identified a 31-year-old El Cajon man who was killed when the pickup truck in which he was a passenger overturned along state Route 52 near Carlton Oaks Country Club in Santee.

Francisco Javier Perez was riding in the back seat of a four-door 2004 GMC 1500 that drifted off the freeway into an unpaved area just west of SR 125 shortly before 5 a.m. Tuesday, according to the California Highway Patrol and the county Medical Examiner’s Office.

The driver, a 33-year-old Escondido man, overcorrected in an attempt to regain control, causing the vehicle to veer to the right off the roadway, overturn and tumble down a hill, CHP public affairs Officer Kevin Pearlstein said.

Perez was pinned inside the truck and died at the scene, authorities said. The crumpled truck came to rest on the Mission Gorge Road onramp to westbound state Route 52, leaving it closed for several hours. The driver and a second passenger, a 32-year-old woman, were taken to a hospital to be treated, Pearlstein said.

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