According to the National Transportation Safety Board, alcohol is a major factor in wrong way driving collisions. Of nine investigations into wrong way driving in a NTSB report, seven of the drivers had a BAC of .15% or higher. According to data analyzed by the NTSB, between 2004-2009, there were 1,566 wrong way driver who were involved in fatal crashes. 60% of those drivers had been drinking. Of those with known blood-alcohol levels, 59% of the drivers had excessive BAC of .15% or more. In California during 2005-2009, 52% of drivers who were driving the wrong way were driving under the influence.
The SF Examiner reports that four people, including the wrong way driver, were killed in a crash on northbound Highway 101. The crash occurred shortly after midnight on Thursday morning, just past Paul Avenue heading into downtown San Francisco.
34-year-old Emilie Ross was driving the wrong way on Highway 101 when the Volkswagen she was driving collided head-on with a taxicab. Ross was killed in the collision. The driver of the taxi and its two passengers were also killed in the accident. One of the passengers in the cab was ejected from the vehicle during the accident. Police are investigating whether Ross and the taxi passengers were wearing seat belts.
The taxi driver was identified as 42-year-old Berkant Ahmed, who was from San Mateo. The passengers were 57-year-old Mary Miller and 62-year-old Judson Bergman, both from Chicago.
According to the CHP, this was the 25th wrong-way driver collision in the Bay Area this year. Ten of those collisions were responsible for 19 deaths. 18 of the collisions involved impaired drivers.