Aftermath of accident
The aftermath of the accident on Valley Center Road. Courtesy CHP

Authorities Wednesday publicly identified three Escondido men who were killed in a head-on crash between a pickup and a tow truck on a winding rural road near Harrah’s Resort Southern California.

Miguel Angel Saravia, 44, Carlos Bravo Serrano, 30, and Cesar Daniel Nino, 22, died at the scene of the crash, which occurred around 6:15 a.m. Tuesday on Valley Center Road, between North Lake Wohlford Road and Paradise Creek Lane, according to the California Highway Patrol and the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Saravia was driving a Ford F-150 southbound when he passed another vehicle and collided head-on with a tow truck traveling northbound on Valley Center Road, the Medical Examiner’s Office reported.

The fatally injured men were not wearing seat belts, CHP public- affairs Officer Mark Latulippe said. A fourth man, who had been riding in the front passenger seat of the Ford, left the scene and was later found at a relative’s house in Escondido.

The man, later identified as Saravia’s brother, told officers he left the crash scene because he did not have his cell phone, Latulippe said.

Paramedics took the tow-truck driver to Palomar Medical Center in Escondido for treatment of superficial injuries, he said.

It was unclear if speeding or intoxication played a role in the accident, though authorities found beer cans and bottles that had spilled their contents inside the crumpled pickup truck, Latulippe said. That discovery was inconclusive, since the containers could have burst open during the collision, the spokesman noted.

Updated at 10:55 a.m. Feb. 13, 2019

— City News Service

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.