Driver plows through shrubs in Encinitas parking lot, strikes and kills man lying in grass

The crash happened shortly before 3:45 p.m. on North El Camino Drive roughly a half mile north of Encinitas Boulevard


A 44-year-old man was killed Friday afternoon, June 24, while lying near some bushes in an Encinitas parking lot when the driver of an SUV plowed through the shrubbery and struck him, authorities said.

File photo

It happened just before 3:45 p.m. in the parking lot of Enterprise Bank & Trust on North El Camino Real about a half-mile north of Encinitas Boulevard, according to San Diego sheriff’s Lt. David Collins.

Sheriff’s officials said the victim was lying on some grass on an embankment that was below and out of sight of the parking lot when he was struck. He died at the scene.

It was unclear why the SUV’s driver, a 61-year-old woman, drove over the curb and through the bushes.

Sheriff’s officials initially said deputies arrested her on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. But a news release several hours after the crash said investigators had not “yet determined if alcohol or drugs were a factor.”

The Friday, June 24 incident was at least the third time in the past three years that San Diego County drivers have crashed off roadways and killed people who were sleeping or sitting on the ground.

On July 4, 2019, a driver struck a bus stop bench in Mission Valley, killing two homeless men and severely injuring a woman who were huddled behind it. Last year, a driver veered onto a sidewalk lined with homeless people in tents, killing three and injuring several others in a tunnel below San Diego City College.

Anyone with information about the Friday, June 24 deadly crash was asked to contact the sheriff’s North Coastal substation at (760) 966-3500.


9:22 a.m. June 25, 2022: This story was updated with additional details throughout.