Members of a local car enthusiast club stage a candlelight vigil in a parking lot for their two fallen friends, a pair of active-duty Navy sailors killed in an overnight crash Friday at Rancho Bernardo.
Friends identified the sailors as 19-year-old Cayden Metcalf and 21-year-old Vaughn Thompson. They were killed when Metcalf’s Mercedes, with Thompson in the passenger seat, collided with a tree along the Bernardo Heights Parkway at about 12:45.
In Rancho Bernardo, two people have died in an accident after their car rammed into a tree.
The sailors were part of the Murdcars Car Club. Upon news of his passing, MurdCars, with the support of half a dozen other clubs, staged a vigil in the park and lots of rides in Mira Mesa. Candles, cards, loud engines and neon chassis underglow set the mood for the night’s remembrance.
“It’s very devastating, but I know they are in a better place now and I know they are watching us from above,” said fellow MurderCars member Javier Jimenez.
SDPD Sergeant Nick Brower said Mercedes was heading east at high speed when Metcalf apparently lost control. Brower said they were trapped under the rubble for 20 minutes and were rescued and taken to hospital.
“Wrong place, wrong time. It didn’t go the way they thought they would go. Just a really terrible accident,” Jimenez said.
Friday’s caution was a strong show of support. There were tears and hugs and wishes and farewell written on a large canvas next to Thompson’s car.
Jiminez said of Thompson, “There was something about Vaughn that brought a light of hope and clarity to one another, especially to people who were having a particularly difficult time.”
The Navy confirmed that the victims of the crash were sailors, but did not identify them. The sailors were assigned to an aircraft carrier and a helicopter squadron.
“Unfortunately, a sailor assigned to USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), and a sailor assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 14, were involved in a fatal vehicle accident this morning in Rancho Bernardo, California. Abraham Lincoln’s driver The crew and our HSC-14 sailors deeply mourn this loss,” said Lieutenant Elisa La Rosa, spokesperson for the Commander of the Naval Air Force. The incident is being investigated and the US Navy is cooperating fully with local authorities. Please contact the San Diego Police Department for more information about this incident.”
SDPD Sergeant Nick Brower said the force of the collision halved the Mercedes, and emergency crews had to cut the doors and roof to evacuate the men from inside. They were then taken to local hospitals, but both died, Brower confirmed.
Jiminez said he wants the sailors to be remembered as a positive light to the car club and the world.