CHULA VISTA (CNS/CBS 8) - The San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office Saturday publicly named the 37-year-old man killed in a chain-reaction series of crashes on a freeway near Sweetwater Regional Park early Friday morning.
Christian Franco of Chula Vista was ejected from his vehicle and was pronounced dead on the scene, CHP public-affairs Officer Jake Sanchez said. Franco died from multiple blunt force injuries, according to the Medical Examiner's Office.
The pileup began when Franco lost control of his northbound 2007 Jaguar on a curving stretch of State Route 125 in Chula Vista about 1:45 a.m., causing it to veer off the roadway and hit a center guardrail north of San Miguel Ranch Road, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The impact tore open the left side of the car and ejected Franco, killing him at the scene, Sanchez said.
Moments later, two motorists in Hondas came upon the scene of the accident and collided with each other while veering to avoid the wreckage. A Hummer then crashed into at least one of the damaged vehicles, and the woman driving the Hummer was jailed for suspicion of drunken driving, Sanchez said.
No other injuries were reported.
The accident forced a roughly 5 1/2-hour closure of the northbound side of the expressway in the area, the CHP reported.
Franco worked for Coldwell Banker West in Chula Vista and had only been with the company for one and a half years. His co-workers said he was an up-and-coming real estate agent in the South Bay, describing him as a rising star.
They posted this message on Facebook, "A joy to be around always a willing hand anxious to please... Dear colleague and faithful friend we will all miss you."
The Sweetwater High School graduate was known for lighting up any room. Friends who did not want to speak on camera at his office in Chula Vista, say they are in disbelief about their tragic loss and say it was just this past Tuesday when Christian had his birthday.