Three people were killed and two others were injured after an alleged wrong-way driver collided head-on with another vehicle on the 210 Freeway in Rancho Cucamonga early Sunday, according to the California Highway Patrol.
A male driver was allegedly going westbound on the eastbound lanes of the freeway at Beech Avenue when the collision occurred shortly after 2 a.m., CHP Captain Joe Flores said.
The CHP had received reports that a dark-colored Hyundai Elantra was seen in the carpool lane driving at a high-rate of speed and swerving.
Moments later, he crashed into a silver sedan with four people inside, Flores said.
The alleged wrong-way driver was pronounced dead at the scene, as were two passengers in the back of the victim vehicle.
The driver and front-passenger of the vehicle that was hit were taken to the hospital. Hours after the crash, the driver was in surgery, and the passenger was alert and talking to authorities, but their conditions were not immediately known.
The four people inside the victim vehicle were related to one another, but it was not immediately clear how, according to the CHP. They were returning from a family gathering when the crash occurred.
Falguni Shah, 38, and Veena Shah, 52, were killed, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office. Falguni Shah was a resident of Fontana, while Veena Shah was from London.
The surviving family members were 60-year-old Nitin Shah and 56-year-old Jyotsna Shah, both of Chino Hills, according to CHP.
The other driver was identified by the Coroner’s Office as 28-year-old Mack Jaramillo of La Habra.
An investigation into the crash was underway, and investigators said they were working to determine where the alleged wrong-way driver got on the freeway.
“The first report we got of a wrong-way driver was only several miles from this scene, east of our location,” Flores said. “The collision happened pretty quick after the initial report of the wrong-way driver.”
A portion of the freeway was shut down for several hours following the crash. The CHP issued a SigAlert just before 2:30 a.m., and the eastbound 210 Freeway was closed at the Day Creek Boulevard.
All lanes were reopened just before 7:30 a.m., Caltrans tweeted.