SAN DIEGO - A 43-year-old San Diego man lost his life in one-vehicle accident Tuesday morning on Farm-to-Market 1329 about three miles south of San Diego, Department of Public Safety troopers confirmed.
The man, identified as Joel Hinojosa was traveling south on Farm-to-Market 1329 and crashed through a fence and hit a tree.
Duval County Deputy John Gomez was the first to arrive on the scene and helped remove his co-worker from the vehicle. Hinojosa was employed with the Duval County Sheriff's Department since 2009 as a correctional officer.
"I was working the school zone when he passed and waved at me," Gomez said. "He passed a red vehicle and then I heard dispatch advise of a rollover."
Gomez said when he arrived on the scene smoke was coming from the vehicle.
"Myself and another gentleman went to help but he was in the brush," Gomez said. "The man had an axe and we were able to get to him."
The deputy with the help of Ernest Cadena was able to remove Hinojosa from the vehicle before the interior was engulfed in flames, the deputy stated.
Hinojosa was wearing his seat belt at the time of the accident, officials said.
According to Trooper Hector Benavidez, a witness behind the silver Chevrolet Impala stated the man went off the road for an unknown reason.
"We are not sure what factors lead up to the accident," Benavidez said. "The investigation is ongoing."
"He was always at work, never late, never complained," said Duval County Sheriff Romeo Ramirez. "The family is hurting. The department is hurting especially the deputies that were at the scene."
Alice and San Diego Fire Departments were on the scene extinguishing flames and preventing the brush from catching fire.
According to Benavidez, the man was deceased when the deputy and witness approached him.
Police officials on the scene stated Hinojosa was returning to his home after leaving his children at school.
"He was a great father," Ramirez said.
Duval County Sheriff's Deputies and San Diego Police Department responded to the accident.
Hinojosa leaves behind a wife and four girls.