PACIFICA (CBS SF) -- Northbound lanes on state Highway 1 in Pacifica reopened after a deadly crash Saturday morning caused by a wrong-way driver, the California Highway Patrol said.
This was the second fatal wrong-way crash on Bay Area roads, this week.
Two people died in the wreck, reported about 4:15 a.m. in the northbound lanes of the freeway near Clarendon Road, according to the CHP.
A Toyota Prius headed southbound in the northbound lanes collided head-on with a Chevrolet Silverado, the CHP said. Two passengers in the Prius died and the driver was taken to a hospital in critical condition.
Two people in the Silverado were taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to the CHP.
The wreckage of the vehicles reveals the terrible force with which the 2 cars collided. The impact was so great, it pushed the Prius' front tire into the cabin of the car where 2 passengers were killed and the driver seriously injured.
"The result of the crash was that the driver of the Prius -- he was driving the wrong way -- was transported to San Francisco General where he is in critical condition," said CHP Sgt. David Fawson.
All northbound lanes were closed after the crash.
For the second time in a week, the CHP says a driver managed to get on the freeway heading in the wrong direction. This time the driver was heading south in the northbound lanes of Highway 1 in Pacifica.
"Drivers need to be aware as they're entering a freeway that they're doing it properly," said Sgt. Fawson. "Obviously, drugs and alcohol are often a factor, but also, we have many visitors here."
The CHP says they won't know for some time if drugs or alcohol contributed to the crash. They suspect they did, but have to wait for lab results to know for sure.
The driver and passenger in the pickup, who might have had mere moments to see the headlights of the car speeding towards them before in impact, survived mercifully, with non-life-threatening injuries.
"Any time that we get a report of a wrong-way driver, we take that extremely seriously," said Fawson. "Many times, we're able to reach the driver in time. Or the driver is able to successfully turn around or exit the freeway before anything devastating like we see here."
It took more than five hours for the CHP to clean up and reopen the northbound lanes.
The freeway reopened about 9:20 a.m.
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