Three people were killed early Thursday when a wrong-way driver going 100 mph slammed into a vehicle on the southbound 101 Freeway in Ventura, authorities said.
The crash occurred just after midnight when a California Highway Patrol officer spotted the wrong-way driver on the freeway, the CHP said in a statement. The black Toyota Scion was traveling northbound from Oxnard Boulevard in the southbound lanes.
The officer, who had just exited the freeway, immediately entered the northbound 101 lanes and tried to keep up with the driver, who was still traveling the wrong way on southbound lanes.
“The officer began attempting to get additional units into position to safely stop the Toyota,” the CHP said.
As the Toyota continued in the wrong direction, the CHP said, the driver reached 100 mph.
The driver then collided head-on with a white Nissan Versa, which was being driven by a 25-year-old Riverside man. He and his passenger, a 28-year-old Lake Elsinore woman, were pronounced dead at the scene.
The Toyota driver, a 34-year-old Santa Paula resident, was also pronounced dead.
The victims’ identities have not been released.
When firefighters arrived, they found one vehicle over the guardrail on the Lemon Grove Avenue overcrossing and the other on the roadway about 50 yards north of the crash, according to the Ventura County Fire Department.
The CHP is investigating the crash.
Staff writer Marc Olson contributed to this article.
9:50 a.m.: This article was updated with details about the crash.
6:10 a.m.: This article was updated with additional details about the crash.
This article was originally published at 2:50 a.m.