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Police say pot to blame in deadly Fremont car crash

A 21-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of marijuana Tuesday night after a multicar crash killed three in Fremont.

The collision, which involved five vehicles, occurred around 9:30 p.m. on the northbound I-880 near Stevenson Boulevard, according to the California Highway Patrol. Three people were killed when they were ejected from an Escalade — a woman, a teen and a child.

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Five other people, four of whom are juveniles, were injured in the crash.

The driver suspected of triggering the crash has been identified as Dang Nguyen Hai Tran, of San Jose, according to authorities.

The names of the victims have not been released.

Since the legalization of recreational marijuana in California earlier this year, law enforcement officials have been grappling with how to identify drivers who are under the drug's influence.

Policing marijuana-induced DUIs isn't as easy as arresting and prosecuting drunk drivers.

Similar to other states that have legalized pot, California now relies on drug recognition experts — police officers trained during a two-week course to conduct cognitive tests and notice other physical signs of drug-related impairment during a motor vehicle stop — to make the initial determination that a driver is under the influence.

A bill proposed in the state Senate last month calls for a one-year driving suspension for any motorist under 21 caught with marijuana in his or her system.

Twitter: @Brittny_Mejia

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