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Corona del Mar woman dies in 100 mph, wrong-way crash in Newport Beach

The driver of a white BMW was killed in a head-on crash with a wrong-way driver of a Mercedes on the 73 Freeway in Newport Beach on Wednesday morning.

A 64-year-old Corona del Mar woman was killed Wednesday morning after a Mercedes speeding the wrong way on the 73 Freeway at more than 100 mph crashed head-on into her BMW in Newport Beach, authorities said.

Before the collision, witnesses reported seeing the silver Mercedes speeding south in the northbound lanes of the freeway near Birch Street at about 8:56 a.m., according to California Highway Patrol spokesman John DeMatteo.

The driver of the white BMW, Arda Gulesserian, of Newport Beach died at the scene, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

The Mercedes driver, Luke Fitch, 23, of Newport Beach was removed from the vehicle and transported to Orange County Global Medical Center in critical condition, DeMatteo said.


It is unknown if drugs or alcohol were a factor in the collision and the investigation is ongoing, according to the CHP.

After the initial crash, a white Lexus collided with the Mercedes, but nobody in the Lexus was injured, authorities said.

Panzar writes for the Los Angeles Times. Daily Pilot staff writer Julia Sclafani contributed to this report.

This article was originally published at 11:40 a.m. and was updated Wednesday afternoon with additional details.


The story was originally published with the incorrect name of the Mercedes driver and has since been corrected.​