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2 Dead, 9 Hurt in Wrong-Way Freeway Crash in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- All lanes of northbound Highway 101 have reopened following a collision early Sunday morning that killed two people and injured nine, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The three-car collision was first reported at 2:33 a.m. with a vehicle traveling southbound in the northbound lanes near Vermont Street striking two vehicles, according to CHP Officer Bert Diaz. The wrong-way vehicle is believed to have come from the Vermont Street off-ramp, Diaz said.

Wrong-way Crash in S.F.
Deadly wrong-way crash in San Francisco Feb. 3, 2019. (CBS)

The wrong-way driver, later identified as 21-year-old Kayla Wilson from San Jose, then struck another vehicle just south of Cesar Chavez Street, according to Diaz, resulting in one person being ejected from a vehicle. That person has died, along with the driver of the vehicle that was traveling the wrong way, Diaz said.

Diaz was unable to confirm whether the victim who was ejected was riding in the wrong-way vehicle or the vehicle traveling in the northbound direction.

All northbound lanes of the freeway were blocked from around 2:40 a.m. until shortly before 10 a.m.

The Uber driver was later identified by the San Francisco Medical Examiner as Waheedullah Etimad, an Uber driver. In an email statement on Sunday afternoon, Uber said, "This was a horribly tragic incident and our hearts go out to the victim and his grieving family. We stand ready to work with authorities to assist their investigation in any way we can."

Etimad, 40, was an Afghan immigrant who came to the U.S. in 2015 to support his wife and seven children after working with the U.S. Army in Afghanistan.

He was a translator for Army troops, but decided to move to the U.S. when his work became too dangerous. He was shot five times during a Taliban attack.

"There was a lot of Taliban," said Yahya Etimad, the victim's son. "So they know that he was working for the Americans. He got shot. They took him to the hospital. He was alive."

Etimad was attending classes at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill to study computer science. He worked as an Uber driver full time, including weekends.

A GoFundMe page has been created to help Etimad's family. As of Sunday evening, it has raised nearly $30,000.

Of the 9 people injured in the crash, Dena Romios, a concert promoter for Power Muse Productions, reported that a group of six are recovering.

Romios said her company was planning to produce a concert for the Greek pop star Panos Kiamos, but the singer cancelled at the last minute because the American embassy in Canada had a computer glitch and couldn't print his visa.

A group of two concert production staffers and four music fans went out to a restaurant in Redwood City, made the most of their evening and later called for an Uber, which ultimately was Waheed Etimad's van.

Romios said of the six passengers in the Uber van, four are still at Zuckerberg General Hospital in stable condition. Two others have been released from the hospital.

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