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Victims of 3 fatal San Diego-area traffic collisions identified

REGION — Authorities have publicly identified three men who died in San Diego-area traffic collisions during the first five days of 2024.

The first of the roadway fatalities took place about 6 a.m. on New Year’s Day, when 29-year-old Misael Figueroa-Gallardo of Vista lost control of the Toyota pickup truck he was driving on South Santa Fe Avenue in San Marcos, according to the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The westbound vehicle veered off the street and struck a light pole at West Mission Road, then overturned and burst into flames, the agency reported.

After emergency crews pulled Figueroa-Gallardo from the burning truck, paramedics took him to Palomar Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.

The second deadly crash occurred shortly before 7 p.m. Tuesday, when 65-year-old Rufino Canete of San Diego was struck by a northbound Chevrolet pickup truck as he was trying to cross the street on foot in the 3800 block of Midway Drive, just south of Sports Arena Boulevard, according to the medical examiner. Figueroa-Gallardo died at the scene of the accident.

The third traffic fatality took place three days later in the Emerald Hills neighborhood of San Diego. The victim, 27-year-old Jadahn Schaefer of Lemon Grove, was mortally injured when the motorcycle he was riding crashed into a broken-down vehicle on eastbound state Route 94 near Kelton Road about 10:30 p.m. Friday, the county agency reported. Schaefer died before paramedics could transport him to a hospital.

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