Two women were seriously injured Friday in a rollover crash on Interstate 15 near Lake Elsinore possibly triggered by reckless driving, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The collision happened about 11 a.m. on northbound I-15, just south of Railroad Canyon Road.

Officer Mike Lassig said 45-year-old Melissa Brasington was driving her 2017 Subaru Forester on the right shoulder — why was unclear — when she approached a 1999 Mercedes-Benz CLK driven by 79-year-old Carolyn Leak, who was in the slow lane.

“The Subaru (driver) steered towards (the Mercedes),” Lassig said. “The Subaru’s front end collided into the Mercedes’ rear end. The force of the impact caused the Subaru to travel out of control and onto the right shoulder. It traveled up a dirt embankment, where it collided into a steel freeway sign pole, causing major damage.”

Leak’s vehicle spun out and then overturned in the middle of the freeway, and she was ejected out of the car’s open sun roof because she was not wearing a safety restraint, according to Lassig. The Mercedes came to rest on its wheels along the northbound shoulder, he said.

Riverside County Fire Department paramedics rendered emergency aid to Leak, who was taken to Inland Valley Medical Center in Wildomar with life-threatening injuries, according to reports from the scene. Brasington was also seriously hurt, but was stable when transported to the same facility.

A SigAlert was issued about 11:20 a.m. as traffic stacked up for miles in the obstructed northbound lanes. CHP officers opened the freeway center median to get traffic moving again a short time later. All northbound lanes were re-opened by 12:50 p.m.

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