Crime - Sacto 911

One dead, two injured in multi-car collision on Interstate 80

A multi-car collision on Interstate 80 early Saturday has left one person dead and two others seriously injured, authorities said.

The incident around 1:25 a.m. began when a Kia hatchback became stalled in the middle of the westbound lanes of I-80, west of the Riverside Avenue exit in Roseville, according to the California Highway Patrol. Moments later, a Toyota Camry, with a private car service driver and two passengers, swerved to the right to avoid the Kia. The Toyota driver lost control of the vehicle.

“The weather helped accelerate that car off the roadway,” said Officer Chad Hertzell, a CHP spokesman.

The Camry then hit a tree before it started spinning in the opposite direction and hit another tree, killing the passenger on the left hand side instantly. The male passenger has not been identified, but Hertzell said he was a juvenile dressed in a Halloween costume.

Within five minutes, Hertzell said, a Dodge pickup rear ended the Kia, causing minor injuries to the Kia driver who drove himself to an area hospital. The driver and passenger of the pickup were not injured. Police said there was a possibility that a big rig sideswiped the Dodge, but authorities noted that witness accounts have been conflicting.

Investigators have not been able to determine why the Kia was stalled, although they suspect alcohol may be a factor. Hertzell added that the Kia driver had traces of alcohol two hours after the crash, but tested below the legal limit.

“We’re not arresting the driver, but we’re investigating as if he might have been under the influence,” Hertzell said.

Hertzell urged drivers to exercise caution in wet weather by traveling under the speed limit. The drivers of the Toyota and Dodge both reported traveling 60-65 mph, according to Hertzell.

Call The Bee’s Richard Chang at (916) 321-1018. Follow him on Twitter @RichardYChang.