19-Year-Old Woman ID’d as Wrong-Way Driver in Fatal Crash on 60 Freeway in Riverside: CHP

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A 19-year-old Ontario woman has been identified as the wrong-way driver in a crash on the 60 Freeway that left a young man dead over the weekend, authorities said Monday.

The unnamed woman was behind the wheel of a 2002 Ford Mustang that was traveling westbound in eastbound lanes of the 60 early Sunday, according to a California Highway Patrol news release.

Three CHP units were dispatched just after 3:30 a.m. in an effort to intercept the wrong-way driver after the agency received multiple reports, officials said.

But within six minutes of the initial call, the Mustang slammed head-on into a 2012 Dodge Caravan with two occupants east of Orange Street, in Riverside, the release stated. Both vehicles were in the No. 1 lane of the eastbound 60.

The force of the collision sent the Dodge into the median, where it crashed into the center divider wall, according to CHP. The Mustang, meanwhile, came to a rest at the freeway's Main Street on-ramp after traveling across the eastbound lanes.

The crash killed 23-year-old Shanilka Mapatuna of Moreno Valley, who was the sole passenger in the Dodge, according to the Riverside County coroner's office. He was pronounced dead at the scene, officials said.

Both drivers suffered major injuries and were transported to a local hospital for treatment.

There was no one else in the Mustang.

In the aftermath of the fatal crash, detectives said they did not immediately know whether the Mustang driver was impaired. While she has not been arrested, CHP indicated the woman could face possible charges of manslaughter or even murder, depending on what is learned during the investigation.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Riverside California Highway Patrol's Accident Investigation Unit at 951-637-8000.


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