A 17-year-old driver and her passenger were injured after an effort to avoid hitting a small animal ended with their vehicle overturning in the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge Friday evening, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The incident occurred about 5 p.m. on Proctor Valley Road in Jamul, about three miles east of Chula Vista, said CHP Officer Alan Garner.
The teen, who didn’t have a license, was traveling westbound on the dirt road when she apparently swerved to avoid hitting a rabbit, causing the silver SUV to veer off the road and overturn into the nearby ravine, he said.
Video from the scene showed the SUV on its side, with significant damage to the front and rear, and a cracked windshield.
Both occupants suffered minor injuries in the crash. The 17-year-old had a bump to the head and some abrasions from the seat belt, while her 18-year-old passenger had a gash on her head and complained of pain to a knee and hand, according to Garner.
It was unclear if the young women were hospitalized for their injuries, but at least one could be seen getting treated in an ambulance at the scene, the footage showed.
Authorities did not indicate whether the driver would be cited.
The road was still wet and muddy from recent rains that drenched the southern part of the state, according to Garner, prompting him to issue a warning to motorists.
“Please slow down when it’s muddy and wet out here,” he said.