Wrecked Toyota Echo
Oceanside Police stand near the wrecked Toyota Echo. Courtesy OnScene.TV

A Carlsbad man was behind bars Monday and facing charges of vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run for allegedly fleeing the scene of a traffic accident that killed another motorist in Oceanside, authorities reported.

Rijal St. Michel, 29, was arrested Sunday in connection with the death last week of 22-year-old Rufus Lucas of Oceanside, according to police.

The wreck — initially believed to have been a solo car crash — occurred in the 3500 block of Mission Avenue about 9:45 p.m. Tuesday. Lucas was headed west when his 2000 Toyota Echo struck a raised center median near state Route 76, overturned and rolled over several times, coming to rest on the other side of the road.

Lucas died at the scene of the accident.

The following day, investigators determined that another vehicle had been involved in the wreck, and they soon identified St. Michel as its driver, Sgt. Rick Davis said.

St. Michel is suspected of crashing his 1995 Toyota Camry into Lucas’ vehicle while trying to make a U-turn from the eastbound side of the street. St. Michel allegedly fled prior to the arrival of police and paramedics.

“The investigation is still ongoing, and it is still unknown if alcohol was a factor in the collision,” Davis said Monday.

St. Michel was booked into county jail in Vista. He was being held on $1 million bail pending arraignment, tentatively scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.

— City News Service