SB 5 Freeway reopened after deadly crash

COMMERCE It happened just after 3 a.m. Friday on the southbound Santa Ana Freeway near Slauson Avenue.

Click in the Eyewitness News Story Window above to watch Leanne Suter's report from the scene.

According to the California Highway Patrol, a man in his mid-20s was driving a Toyota Yaris northbound in the southbound I-5 lanes. He slammed head-on into a silver Nissan Sentra carrying four people.

Two young women in the Sentra were killed in the crash, including the 19-year-old driver and a rear passenger in her 20s. The wrong-way driver also died in the collision.

Two male passengers in the Sentra were seriously injured. They were both transported to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, where one remains listed in critical condition.

The southbound 5 Freeway through Commerce was closed for hours for the investigation. The scene has been cleared and all lanes are open.

Investigators say several friends of the victims witnessed the crash as they were following behind the vehicle. The whole group had just left a club in Hollywood and was apparently returning home when the Sentra slammed head-on into the wrong-way driver.

The witnesses rushed to help their friends. CHP officers, who were close by at the time, heard the crash and also rushed up onto the freeway to help the victims.

Investigators say they don't know if alcohol or drugs may have been factors in the crash, but it is something they are looking into. They also say they don't know how long the wrong-way driver had been on the freeway or where he entered the freeway.

 

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