A wrong-way driver and a person in one of the vehicles he hit died Sunday in a fiery wreck on state Route 512 in the Parkland area, according to the State Patrol.
Trooper Todd Bartolac said the wreck started about 3:45 p.m. when the driver headed backwards up an off ramp from Pacific Avenue to SR 512, and crashed head-on with a vehicle that was exiting the highway.
Then the wrong-way driver kept going, Bartolac said, quickly sideswiping two other vehicles as he headed west in the eastbound lanes of SR 512, and then causing another head-on crash with a fourth vehicle.
The wrong-driver was ejected from his vehicle and died at the scene, and a passenger in one of the victim vehicles also died, Bartolac said.
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One of the victim drivers was in surgery Sunday evening, and a child in one of the victim vehicles was taken to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital for injuries that didn’t appear to be life-threatening, Bartolac said.
It wasn’t clear why the wrong-way driver started traveling against traffic in the first place.
“We don’t know why this individual decided to do this,” Bartolac said.
Crews closed the eastbound lanes of SR 512 at Steele Street and one westbound lane to investigate.
Bartolac advised drivers to avoid SR 512, if possible, during the investigation.
The names of those who died were not immediately available.