By Gina Yarbrough
ESCONDIDO–Authorities continue their investigation of a vehicle collision that killed two homeless men sleeping in the bushes in Escondido on February 12, Escondido Police Department reported.
A 13-year-old Vista girl and her juvenile passenger, were arrested by police officers at the scene of the crash. They were later released to their parents.
At about 11:19 p.m., an Escondido Police officer stopped a car near Mission Avenue and Gamble Street for a traffic violation. The officer was unaware that the girl took her mom’s car without her knowing. As the officer approached the car on foot to make contact with the driver, the girls fled in the vehicle. They drove east on Mission Avenue and tried to turn left onto north Ash Street. They lost control and their vehicle slid into the planter on the east side of the road near a SDG&E transfer facility.
Once the police caught up to the vehicle and discovered the crash, the girls were detained at the scene. Officers discovered that two homeless men sleeping in the bushes had been struck by the vehicle. One man was pronounced dead at the scene. The other man later died at the hospital.
Escondido police and the Medical Examiner’s office have released the identity of the two men as 33-year-old Mateo Salvador and 51-year-old Sofio Sotelo Torres.
The investigation is ongoing.