The westbound 10 Freeway was reopened Friday in Santa Monica after a wrong-way driver slammed head-on into a car, and one person inside later died.
The wrong-way driver’s vehicle was flung to the side of the road down an embankment, where the driver had to be cut out by firefighters, authorities said. The collision occurred about 1:15 a.m. near Centinela Avenue.
That person was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving.
The car that was hit by the wrong-way driver was then hit a second time, killing one person inside, the California Highway Patrol said. The driver of the second vehicle also was arrested on suspicion of DUI, KTLA reported.
Three people were rushed to the hospital and were listed in critical condition. Two others at the scene refused treatment, said Los Angeles Fire Department Capt. Jamie Moore.
“We were going to Santa Monica and then we saw a vehicle coming the wrong direction and we swerved,” Stephanie Mejia told KTLA. “Our friend was right behind us, so it hit them and it made the car turn. I ran back to all my friends, and all three of them were out except one.”
Mejia said she was a friend of the person killed.
“We were trying to pull him out and when he was halfway, a car came and it hit him again and it blew out, it blew up,” she said.
The crash closed down the westbound 10 until about 7:15 a.m., when all lanes were reopened.
In addition, on the southbound 405 Freeway, two people were killed when a big rig slammed into a disabled vehicle near Rosecrans Avenue about 3 a.m. The big rig jackknifed and was expected to remain on the freeway for hours, CHP officials said.
One lane and the Rosecrans exit were expected to remain closed for most of the day.