Three men standing outside a car and a truck involved in a crash Friday were killed when a car struck them and one of the disabled vehicles on the San Diego (405) Freeway in Carson, the California Highway Patrol reported.
Authorities arrested the woman who was driving the car involved in the original crash, which occurred about 1 a.m. on the northbound 405 south of Carson Street, according to the CHP.
One of the fatally injured men was identified as Richard Le, 31, of Long Beach, said coroner’s Assistant Chief Ed Winter. The names of the other men were withheld, pending notification of their relatives.
The suspect, a woman in her 20s, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Her name was not immediately released.
According to the preliminary investigation, the woman was driving a Toyota Prius in the No. 3 lane when it hit a Chevrolet Silverado pulling a trailer, and the Silverado went out of control and hit the center divider wall of the freeway, said CHP Officer Simeon Yarbrough.
The Prius and the Silverado blocked the No. 1 and 2 lanes, and the Silverado’s trailer blocked the carpool lane, Yarbrough said.
Two men got out of the Silverado, and the suspect got out of the Prius, Yarbrough said.
A short time later, a Toyota Corolla operated by an Uber driver pulled over on the right freeway shoulder, and a passenger got out and ran across the freeway lanes to offer help, Yarbrough said.
A few minutes afterward, a Toyota Camry driven by Mohammad Vahhaj, 62, of San Pedro, approached the scene going about 55-60 mph in the No. 1 lane, the CHP reported.
“(Vahhaj) observed lanes blocked ahead, with pedestrians outside vehicles,” a CHP statement said. “He steered (the Camry) left in order to avoid colliding with a female pedestrian.”
The female pedestrian was the driver of the Prius, Yarbrough said. The Camry struck two of the men and caromed into one of the disabled vehicles, and the impact led to the death of the third man, the CHP reported. The freeway was closed until about 5:30 a.m.
Yarbrough urged motorists involved in freeway crashes to pull over to the right shoulder whenever possible, and to stay in their vehicles until help arrives.
“And don’t drink and drive,” Yarbrough said.
—City News Service