A study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that wrong-way crashes were five times more likely to happen between 12:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. This risk increases significantly if one of the drivers involved in such a crash drinks and drives.
Fox LA reports that may have been what led to a fatal wrong-way crash in Tustin on Sunday on the Santa Ana (Interstate 5) Freeway.
According to a statement issued by the California Highway Patrol, the crash happened at approximately 2:10 p.m. in the southbound lanes of the freeway near the transition of the 55 and 5 Freeways.
Eyewitnesses told CHP investigating officers that a white sedan was traveling northbound in the freeway’s southbound lanes just before the crash happened.
Initial reports indicated that the crash involved at least three vehicles. However, investigators later reported that a white Toyota Prius and a Subaru Outback were involved in the crash.
Orange County Paramedics responding to the crash declared one of the drivers dead at the scene. Authorities have not released the identity of the victim pending notification of family members.
The California Highway Patrol issued a SigAlert for the 55 and the 5 freeways while the crash was investigated. Investigation and cleanup took approximately 4 hours to complete.
So far, investigators have not ruled out DUI by alcohol or drugs as being the cause of the crash.