A wrong-way driver caused a pair of crashes on I-5 north of downtown Sacramento this evening, sending several people to the hospital and snarling traffic for about 45 minutes.
The California Highway Patrol said four vehicles were involved in the incident, which occurred just south of the Highway 99 split. None of the injuries were believed to be life-threatening, although it wasn't immediately clear exactly how many people were hurt.
The driver believed to have caused the incident was expected to be arrested on charges of driving under the influence, said Officer Lizz Dutton, CHP spokeswoman.
Dutton said the incident occurred about 7:20 p.m. CHP officers were responding to a report of a wrong-way driver heading south on Highway 99 when the motorist crossed onto the northbound I-5 lanes.
As the wrong-way driver approached, a northbound vehicle swerved to the right to avoid getting hit, but wound up hitting another northbound vehicle, Dutton said. The wrong-way driver then hit the next car, she said.
The wrong-way driver was identified as a Sacramentan in his mid-60s. He was expected to be released from UC Davis Medical Center, then booked for DUI, Dutton said.
Northbound traffic on I-5 was backed up for about 45 minutes.