A 19-year-old Oceanside man was behind bars Wednesday for allegedly plowing a pickup truck into an extended family’s crowded car at an intersection near Buccaneer Beach while intoxicated, killing a 74-year-old woman and her two adult daughters and injuring three of their other relatives.
Mason Robert Fish was heading south on South Coast Highway shortly before 1 p.m. Tuesday when he allegedly ran a red light at Oceanside Boulevard, crashing his 2007 Toyota Tacoma into the driver’s side of an eastbound 2003 Mazda sedan, according to police.
The broadside impact sent the sedan spinning “violently” across the road crossing and ejected two of the four backseat passengers, 40-year-old Petra Arango of Oceanside and her 13-year-old daughter, onto the pavement, Sgt. Rick Davis said.
Arango’s mother, Rufina Arango Rodriguez of Oceanside, and 56-year-old sister, Eloina Arango of Mexico, died in the mangled car.
Medics took the teenager, whose name was not released, and her mother to hospitals. Physicians pronounced Petra Arango dead about an hour after the crash.
The two men in the front seats of the Mazda — 82-year-old Aquilino Arango Ojeda of Fallbrook and 43-year-old Rey David Velasco Herrera of Oceanside — wound up trapped in the wreckage. After firefighters freed them, they were taken to trauma centers for treatment of moderately serious injuries.
Fish, who was uninjured, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of a controlled substance. Davis declined to specify what kind of drug Fish allegedly had in his system at the time of the deadly crash.
The suspect was booked into county jail in Vista on three counts each of gross vehicular manslaughter and DUI resulting in bodily injury, along with a misdemeanor count of possession of an undisclosed type of controlled substance. He was being held in lieu of $602,000 bail pending arraignment, scheduled for Thursday.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Aquilino Arango — the teenager’s grandfather and Rufina Arango’s husband — had been released from medical care, as had his granddaughter.
Herrera, who was believed to be the girl’s father, remained hospitalized.
It appeared that none of the family members were wearing seatbelts at the time of the collision, Davis said.
Updated 8:30 p.m. Feb. 6, 2019.
— City News Service
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