A wrong-way driver caused a fiery crash on the Gerald Desmond Bridge, resulting in at least one death. Photo courtesy of the Long Beach Fire Department
A wrong-way driver caused a fiery crash on the Gerald Desmond Bridge, resulting in at least one death. Photo courtesy of the Long Beach Fire Department

The coroner’s office Thursday identified a pickup truck driver killed in a fiery three-vehicle crash triggered by a wrong-way motorist on the Gerald Desmond Bridge in Long Beach as a 30-year-old San Pedro man.

Two other motorists, including the suspected wrong-way driver — identified by police as 28-year-old Hawthorne resident Alvin Ray Shaw — suffered critical injuries in the crash that killed Miguel Gonzalez.

Shaw had an outstanding warrant at the time of the crash for driving with a suspended license, authorities said.

He was at the wheel of a 2012 Mercedes-Benz sedan headed west in the eastbound lanes when it crashed shortly after 7 a.m. Saturday into a 2014 Ford Fusion driven by a 21-year-old San Pedro man and Gonzalez’s 2010 Nissan pickup truck, police said.

The drivers of the Mercedes and the Fusion had to be extricated from their vehicles, according to Jake Heflin of the Long Beach Fire Department. The Nissan and the Mercedes caught fire after the crash.

A police officer suffered a laceration to his arm while trying to pull the driver from the pickup truck, Heflin said. Paramedics transported the officer to a hospital, where he was treated and released.

Gonzalez was pronounced dead at the scene.

Shaw and the Fusion driver were rushed to trauma centers for treatment of critical injuries, Heflin said.

Shaw was booked on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and had an outstanding warrant for driving with a suspended license, Long Beach police spokeswoman Marlene Arrona said.

Before the crash, a vehicle believed to be the same Mercedes that Gonzalez was driving was seen crashing through barricades in the area of Special Olympic events, police said.

Investigators were looking into whether alcohol and/or drugs could have been factors in the crash.

Shaw was officially released from custody on Wednesday, but his status will be revisited if and when he able to leave the hospital, Arrona said.

The crash closed the bridge in both directions for about eight hours, according to Long Beach police.

— City News Service 

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