According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), wrong-way traffic crashes end in a fatality at a higher percentage than any other type of vehicle collision. On average, 400 people die in wrong-way traffic collisions each year. In the vast majority of cases, these tragic accidents can be attributed to driver error.
KNBC reports that investigators are trying to determine whether that may have been the cause of a wrong-way crash along the San Gabriel River or 605 Freeway in Irwindale over the weekend that claimed the life of a 19-year-old woman.
Authorities say the fatal crash happened on Saturday, July 4th, when the woman drove her 2003 silver Nissan northbound in the southbound lanes of the freeway. At approximately 10:48 p.m., north of Ramona Boulevard, the Nissan collided with a 2014 Freightliner tractor-trailer rig. According to a spokesperson with the California Highway Patrol (CHP, the force of the collision caused the smaller vehicle to become wedged under the 18-wheeler.
The victim, a resident of Baldwin Park, died at the scene of the crash. Her identity was not released by the time of the report.
The 42-year-old man driving the big rig complained of pain following the collision. He refused help from emergency crews and sought treatment on his own.
The fatal crash is currently under investigation. The CHP is asking anyone who may have any further information or witnessed the collision to contact their Baldwin Park Office at (626) 338-1164.