Three people were killed when a wrong-way driver traveling at speeds around 100 mph crashed into another vehicle early Thursday on a Southern California freeway.
The crash was reported just after midnight on the southbound 101 Freeway in Ventura. The wrong-way driver, speeding north in southbound lanes in a Scion, nearly struck a California Highway Patrol officer's vehicle a few miles before slamming into a couple in a Nissan Versa.
Two people and a dog in the Versa were killed. The Scion driver, the car's lone occupant, also died at the scene. All of the deceased individuals are under 30 years old, authorities said.
A CHP officer on the 101 Freeway saw the driver going the wrong way from Oxnard Boulevard. The officer called for additional units, but the driver crashed moments later.
A third vehicle was struck before the fatal collision.
CHP Sgt. Tom Webster said late-night, wrong-way drivers often use the fast lane.
"In these early morning crashes, around the time people are leaving bars, my suggestion is always drive in the right-hand lanes unless you're passing another vehicle," said Webster. "Many times, these drivers use the No. 1 lane, believing they are probably in the slow lane."
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Authorities will attempt to determine whether the wrong-way driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, Webster added.
Lanes on the freeway were closed for the investigation.