California

Four killed in separate collisions caused by wrong-way drivers on L.A. freeways

Four people were killed in two separate wrong-way crashes early Sunday in Irwindale and Chatsworth, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The first accident occurred about 12:25 a.m. when CHP officers responded to a report of a collision on the 118 Freeway in the San Fernando Valley, authorities said.

After responding to the scene, CHP officers learned that a 30-year-old man driving a 2014 Toyota Camry was heading east in the westbound carpool lane of the freeway when it collided with a 2003 Lexus sedan, just east of the De Soto Avenue freeway off-ramp, according to a CHP statement.

In its report, NBC showed video footage of the driver heading the wrong way before the collision.

The station reported that Carlos Huerta, who was driving home at the time of the accident, pulled over to render aid.

“The first thing I saw was a car seat, so I made sure there was no baby in the car,” Huerta said. “I ended up pulling the passenger door with another person who left, and the lady took what I assume to be her last breath. They have her in the ambulance right now and I’m not sure where they went from there.”

Fire paramedics declared the driver of the Lexus sedan dead at the scene. He was identified by the CHP as Christian Glenn, 38, of Simi Valley. His passenger, Brooklyn Acker, 25, also of Simi Valley, suffered major injuries and was transported by ambulance to Holy Cross Medical Center. Her condition was not known.

The Toyota Camry driver was not identified as of Sunday afternoon.

The crash forced the closure of the carpool and three other westbound lanes of the 118 Freeway until the traffic investigation was completed around 5 a.m.

Meanwhile, a similar fatal collision occurred a short time later about 12:30 a.m. in the southbound lanes of the 605 Freeway in Irwindale.

CHP officers at the scene determined that a 35-year-old woman driving a 2002 Honda Odyssey entered the freeway from the Ramona Boulevard offramp and drove north until her vehicle collided head-on with a 2013 Dodge Challenger. The woman died at the scene, according to a CHP press statement.

The driver of the Dodge Challenger, a 25-year-old man, was declared dead at the scene. He has not been identified. His passenger, a 23-year-old woman from Los Angeles, identified by the CHP as Leticia Lopez, was taken to the L.A. County-USC Medical Center. Her condition is unknown.

A preliminary investigation found that alcohol or drugs is suspected to be a factor in the collision, according to CHP.

Both crashes remain under investigation.

ruben.vives@latimes.com

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