Two people were killed in a crash during the pre-dawn hours of Saturday, Feb. 9, on Highway 1. The deadly crash occurred when a man who was reportedly driving a Prius southbound in the northbound lane of the highway in Pacifica ran head-on into a pickup truck.
Two people in the Prius, both passengers, were killed. According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), only one of those passengers was wearing a seat belt.
The driver of the car didn't have a seat belt on either. However, he survived the crash and was taken to Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, where he was reportedly in critical condition.
The pickup truck driver and a passenger in that vehicle were also hospitalized. Their injuries are reportedly not life-threatening.
Authorities haven't yet determined whether the Prius driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. They are also still working to find out exactly how long the Prius driver had been heading in the wrong direction prior to the crash. They believe he started going the wrong way at or near Interstate 280.
One woman who lives in Pacifica says that it's not that difficult to get in the wrong lane when entering Highway 1. She said that "those 'do not enter' signs are not lit up at night...[and] if you're not from around here, it could be bad." This was the second fatal wrong-way crash in the Bay Area within a week. The prior weekend, an Uber driver was killed and the passengers in his car were injured when a driver going the wrong way on Highway 101 hit them. The wrong-way driver was killed as well.
If a road doesn't have adequate or easily visible signage or there aren't barriers and other structural protections in place to prevent people from driving in the wrong direction, catastrophic collisions can occur. Of course, drugs and alcohol can also prevent drivers from realizing their error until it's too late.
If you've been injured or a loved one has been killed by a wrong-way driver, you can seek compensation for expenses and damages regardless of any criminal charges brought against the driver.