A young woman on her way home from work was killed early Thursday when her car hit a tree.
The crash occurred at about 1:20 a.m. at Pomerado and Willow Creek roads in the Scripps Ranch neighborhood of San Diego. According to police, Jennifer Laurie Brainerd was behind the wheel of the 2001 Volkswagen when it slammed into the tree and exploded. She was ejected from the disintigrating car and killed at the scene, police said.
"It caught on fire and made a small brush fire here on the side of the road," San Diego police spokesman James Zirpolo said,
Witnesses in the area heard the crash, but nobody saw it take place, police said.
The victim, who was known as "Jenn," was a student at San Diego State University. She was the youngest of three children and lived at her parents' home in Scripps Ranch.
Her parents, Laurie and Bill Brainerd, said their daughter was driving home from work at Rock Bottom Brewery in La Jolla when she crashed. The said Jenn was intelligent, vibrant and sweet, and that their only daughter was their life and their joy.
Pomerado Road was closed for several hours after the wreck while police investigators collected evidence. The road reopened before 6 a.m.