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Santa Monica fatal wrong-way crash shuts 10 Fwy; 2 arrested for DUI

June 28, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A deadly wrong-way crash shut down westbound lanes on the 10 Freeway in Santa Monica on Friday.

As of 7:10 a.m., all lanes of the westbound 10 Freeway were back open.

Officials say a red car was traveling eastbound on the westbound lanes, close to the fast lane, when it crashed into a Ford traveling in the correct direction near Centinela Avenue at about 1:15 a.m.

The Ford, carrying four teenage friends, caught fire following the collision. Three of the occupants were able to exit the vehicle, but they were trying to free one person who remained trapped inside. That's when another vehicle, a Hyundai, careened toward the group, striking and killing one individual, identified as Phillip Ruiz. His 20th birthday was Friday.

The driver of the Hyundai was arrested under suspicion of driving under the influence.

After crashing into the Ford, the red car flipped over an embankment and rolled down the side of the freeway. The driver, who was alone in his car, had to be cut out of the vehicle and was transported to an area hospital with significant injuries. He was also arrested under suspicion of driving under the influence.

The two other wrecked vehicles and debris from the crash were strewn on the westbound lanes, which were completely shut down for hours. Traffic was diverted off the freeway at Bundy Drive. The duration of the closure was unknown. Drivers were advised to take National or Pico boulevards or Washington Avenue as alternates.