L.A.-area officials responded to at least two fatal wrong-way crashes early Sunday, one on the 405 Freeway near the Getty Center and another on the 210 Freeway in Monrovia.
“It was a horrific night on Los Angeles area streets and freeways, with multiple violent and deadly crashes, including those involving at least four wrong way drivers and/or head-on collisions,” Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey wrote in a Reddit post on Sunday morning. “While cause investigations continue, driver impairment is strongly suspect.”
Humphrey said the night was busier than usual for the agency, which responded to 730 traffic incidents between sunset and sunrise on Sunday.
The Fire Department and the California Highway Patrol confirmed two deadly collisions involving a driver heading in the wrong direction.
An alleged drunken driver traveling the wrong way on the northbound 405 Freeway in Bel-Air early Sunday slammed head-on into another vehicle, killing the driver, according to the CHP.
Marco Abrego, 42, of Northridge was at the wheel of a 2010 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck about 2:30 a.m., headed southbound in northbound lanes near Bel Air Crest Road, just prior to the impact, officials said.
The truck collided head-on with a 2000 Jaguar S-Type, which then spun out of control and struck a 2010 Toyota Corolla before coming to a rest, authorities said.
The driver of the Jaguar, identified as Joey Trianders Allen, 43, of Lancaster died at the scene of the crash, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner Investigator Rudy Molano said.
A woman at the wheel of the Toyota declined to be taken to a hospital.
Abrego was treated for injuries he suffered in the crash and booked into jail on suspicion of DUI, according to the CHP.
Bail for Abrego was set at $100,000 pending his initial court appearance, Los Angeles County booking records show.
The collision triggered a SigAlert and lanes did not fully reopen until just before 8 a.m., CHP’s log showed.
Just over two hours later, the CHP reported another wrong-way crash on the eastbound 210 Freeway, just east of Huntington Drive in Monrovia.
A woman was headed west in the eastbound lanes of the freeway when her 2017 Chevrolet Cruze plowed head-on into a 2017 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck being driven by a 19-year-old Hemet man, according to Officer J. Contreras of the CHP’s Baldwin Park-area office.
Paramedics pronounced the woman who had been driving the Chevrolet dead at the scene, officials said.
The driver of the Toyota was hospitalized with major injuries, including a broken pelvis and legs, according to the CHP.
“It is still unknown if drugs or alcohol were a factor in this collision,” Contreras said in a written statement. “The cause of this collision is still under investigation.”
The crash triggered an hourslong closure near Huntington Drive. The freeway was not fully reopened until just before 1:20 p.m.
In his Reddit post, Humphrey pleaded with the public to exercise caution while driving.
In detail, he described law enforcement officers’ harrowing duty to inform families of unexpected deaths in crashes.
“If you or a loved one is prone to drive impaired, you need to take action now… to prevent a knock on someone’s door,” Humphrey wrote.
KTLA’s Alexis Lewis and Jose Duran contributed to this report.