California Highway Patrol cruiser. Photo by Chris Stone

A 69-year-old motorist was killed Monday when the SUV he was driving careened off state Route 78 near Cal State San Marcos.

The Vista man lost control of his eastbound 2000 Mercedes-Benz ML320 while passing another vehicle west of East Barham Drive shortly before 10:30 a.m., according to the California Highway Patrol.

The SUV veered across all the eastbound lanes of the freeway, crashed through a perimeter fence, overturned and struck a retaining wall, coming to rest in a parking lot outside a carpeting store, the CHP reported.

The motorist wound up trapped in the damaged vehicle and died at the scene. His name was withheld pending family notification.

Witnesses reported that the man was speeding and tried to make an “abrupt” lane change in front of another vehicle just prior to the wreck, according to the CHP.

Updated 6:03 p.m. Jan. 4, 2021

—  City News Service

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