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Veterinarian Found Dead in Driveway After Single-Car Crash

by John Gomez | Last Updated: January 19, 2010

January 19, 2010 – Robert Frank Stonebreaker, 53, a prominent Del Mar veterinarian, who walked away from a single-car accident, was found dead several hours later Sunday morning in the driveway of a Rancho Santa Fe home, according to the San Diego Dounty Medical Examiner’s Office.

Stonebreaker was the owner and CEO of Animal and Bird Hospital of Del Mar and of FreeFlight, an exotic avian park and outdoor boarding facility for birds.

He was found lying on the ground at the home on Paseo Delicias near Via de la Valle about 7:50 a.m. after the homeowner let his dogs out and they began to bark, California Highway Patrol Sgt. Lewis Hall said.

It appears Stonebreaker had been traveling north Saturday about 9:30 p.m. on Paseo Delicias near Caminto de Conejos in a silver 2008 Porsche Carrera when he lost control on a curve, over-corrected twice and then veered off the road. The car ran over a wooden marker on the side of the road and plunged into a gully filled with vegetation about 10 to 15 feet deep, Hall said.

When officers arrived they found no sign of the driver, no blood or blood trail or anything else that indicated that someone had been injured, Hall said. Officers investigated for about an hour before they left. The Porsche was towed away. The license plate of the car that said “PETDRZ” as well as the car’s bumper were left behind.

Officers believe Stonebreaker got out of the car and made his way up a long driveway about 2,000 feet to the home where he collapsed on his back and hit his head. They do not know if he died from injuries suffered in the crash or from the fall, Hall said. A significant amount of blood was on the driveway, the sergeant said .

The crash was only feet from the roadway. If he had stayed with the car or gone the other direction perhaps he would have been discovered much earlier, Hall said. By the time he was found he had been dead for at least a few hours, Hall said.

It is also not known if Stonebreaker had a cell phone or if he had been able to use it. Reception in the area can be spotty. It is too early to say if drugs or alcohol were involved, Hall said.

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