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A vehicle carrying passengers who were leaving the beach at bar-closing time crashed head-on into a Mission Beach light pole early Sunday morning, July 13, just before 2 a.m.

When the car collided with the pole, the front bumper went flying and the sound of metal scraping on the pavement stopped. Both front airbags were deployed, apparently keeping the passengers in good enough condition to run from the scene.

Many residents rushed out of their homes in time to witness the accident victims pile into a car that had been behind them.

According to Jim Kerr, a recording engineer vacationing nearby with his family, “I heard a loud screech from a car and then a very loud impact. I looked out and I could see the lamp post shaking and swaying back and forth. You could tell that the car was still trying to move around, like, back up. Then it stops and about ten seconds after that you heard another car take off fast. From what I’ve heard, everybody jumped in that car and took off.”

As people came out to investigate the commotion, what happened next surprised everyone: a few minutes after leaving the scene, some of the vehicle occupants returned and tried to get the car moving again. At that point, San Diego police officers arrived at the accident site.

“They split and then they came back,” said Kerr. “They had to come back, I guess. The lady being given the sobriety test got back in and tried to back the car up again. She saw the cops coming and tried to leave, but they stopped her.”

The woman was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and taken away by the SDPD. The vehicle was towed away and the area cleaned up by 3:30 a.m.

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