California driver accidentally drives into Mexico, says avoiding port of entry can be ‘confusing’

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SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — When renovations at the San Ysidro Port of Entry were completed in 2019, the California Department of Transportation stepped in to provide necessary signage and other devices to guide drivers either into Mexico or away from Mexico.

Tina Block lives in Imperial Beach, Calif. (Salvador Rivera/Border Report)

But for Tina Block it wasn’t enough.

While driving on a South San Diego highway on April 11, Block says she lost her bearings, missed her exit, and ended up driving into Mexico.

“It’s my fault, entirely my fault,” said Block, who had only hoped to do a little shopping at an area mall. “There’s got to be more signage.”

Block says more needs to be done to warn and prevent motorists from making the same mistake she made.

“There’s one sign on the left-hand side and sign says U-Turn and emergency vehicles, but it’s all the way on the left, and it’s white, you don’t look at that sign it doesn’t register in your head cause everything else is yellow,” said Block. “There’s no way to turn around, if you’re over in the right lane like you’re supposed to be to make the exit, there’s no way to turn around, so I went directly into Mexico.”

Block is not the first person to accidentally end up south of the border. But a spokesperson for Caltrans told Border Report they’ve done just about all they can do to help people by installing more signage, flashing beacons that warn drivers they are about to enter Mexico and have added markings to the pavement.

Block says after crossing into Mexico, it took her six hours to get back to the U.S.

“When I got into Mexico, the policemen didn’t speak English, I was afraid,” she said.

According to Block, everyone was very nice to her and tried to direct her back to the northbound side of the port of entry.

“I saw a police parking lot and saw a car with American plates, a young man came out and helped me, he got in my car and led me back,” she said

Block said the young man who helped her turned out to be a sort of guardian angel.

“His name was Christopher, my son who died was named Christopher, and when he left I said to him my name is Tina, and he said, ‘Oh God, that’s my mother’s name.’ My son sent him to me, I know he did,” Block sais.

Once in the northbound traffic lanes, Block finally got a little shopping done.

“I bought tortillas, I got hungry,” she chuckled.

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