The California Highway Patrol was investigating an early Monday morning crash that killed two people on Highway 50 in Sacramento, including the possibility that it may have been caused by a wrong-way driver.
However, a CHP spokesman, Officer Michael Bradley, stressed that key details of the multiple-vehicle crash that happened shortly after midnight were still being examined, and officials could not confirm that the collision was triggered by a vehicle heading in the wrong direction in the eastbound lanes of Highway 50 near Interstate 5.
Bradley said a Kia Sorento and a Chevrolet Silverado pickup struck each other head-on, killing both drivers.
Marvin Dale Walker, 61, of West Sacramento, was driving the Sorento and died at the scene, according to the CHP and the Sacramento County Coroner’s Office. Ba Dai Le, 50, of Sacramento was driving the Silverado and died in a hospital at 5:59 a.m., the CHP said.
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A 58-year-old Roseville man, who was driving a Scion-made vehicle, also was involved in the crash, but Bradley said he was in a hospital and expected to survive.
Although there was a head-on impact on an eastbound section of Highway 50, Bradley said the CHP is investigating the possibility that one of the cars spun and ended up facing backward just before being struck by the second vehicle.
Bradley also noted that a fourth vehicle might have been involved in the crash but left the scene. He also said there were conflicting witness statements about the crash.
“We’re going to re-interview witnesses … and pull the (on-board vehicle) computer chip to see what the speed is,” Bradley said.
Bradley also said the CHP will investigate whether alcohol or drugs were factors in the crash, and he asked that anyone with information to contact the CHP.
The crash closed the eastbound section of Highway 50 for about three hours. All lanes were reopened around 3 a.m.
Four times this year, drivers on Sacramento-area freeways have plowed head-on into other vehicles, taking 14 lives. All those crashes occurred at night.