GrokSurf's San Diego

Local observations on water, environment, technology, law & politics

About those deadly crashes at Mission Gorge Rd. & SR-125

Posted by George J Janczyn on September 21, 2009

Two fatal automobile accidents in Santee which occurred recently on August 28 and September 20 might draw some attention to the awkward traffic configuration at the terminus of northbound State Route 125 at Mission Gorge Road.

After the first crash, most of the news focused on a stuck accelerator possibly caused by a floormat, and led to a floormat inspection order by Toyota [Sept 29: followed by a recall].

Following yesterday’s crash involving different circumstances, the U-T report ended by mentioning that “Sheriff’s officials will discuss the intersection with Santee officials as well as representatives from the CHP and Caltrans.”

It’s good they’ll be discussing it. Ever since that interchange was set up (and it’s still a work in progress because of the extension of SR-52 to SR-67) it seemed to me, well, messy. In particular, the northbound 125 “exit” to Mission Gorge is disconcerting and confusing (although some might call it straightforward!). As you approach Santee travelling north on 125, the two right-hand lanes exit to westbound 52, while the three high-speed left-hand lanes continue straight…into a dead-end at Mission Gorge Road. I don’t know if the crash investigations will raise this configuration as a factor, but if they do, I’m afraid it’s probably too late to do anything about it.

Later: Santee Officials Look At Ways To Make SR-125 Safer

(Subsequent to the discussions mentioned in the above report about the configuration of the end of freeway, Caltrans has installed rumble strips on the freeway, flashing beacons on the shoulders, an additional “End Freeway” overhead sign, and barricades at Mission Gorge Road across from the end of freeway)

Crash updates:

Jan 28, 2010: Toyota halts sales of eight models in U.S. – due to faulty pedal mechanism they say is unrelated to this crash
Mar 3, 2010: Relatives Of Family Killed In Toyota Crash Files Suit

Bing aerial view of NB125 at Mission Gorge Rd

Bing aerial view of NB125 ending at Mission Gorge Rd

Seen from a nearby hill, looking northeast

Seen from a nearby hill, looking northeast

NB125, the precipice

NB125, the precipice

A long drop to a full stop at Mission Gorge

A long drop to a full stop at Mission Gorge

The view from the bottom

The view from the bottom

Memorial flowers at crash site

Memorial flowers at crash site

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