So far in 2019, California state law enforcement has reported 25 wrong-way collisions in the Bay Area alone. Ten of the 25 accidents have been fatal, and a total of 19 people have died. The most recent of these fatal wrong-way collisions occurred very early last Thursday in the northbound lanes of Highway 101 in the vicinity of Candlestick Point when a driver under the influence allegedly struck another vehicle while traveling the wrong direction.
Two tourists from the Chicago area, a 62-year-old man and a 57-year-old woman, had just arrived by plane and were traveling by taxi from the San Francisco International Airport into the city. Allegedly, a 34-year-old female traveling in the wrong direction struck the taxi cab, the driver of which was a 43-year-old male. Authorities report that the woman was under the influence at the time of the collision.
An investigation is ongoing, but authorities speculate that the alleged wrong-way driver and the female taxi passenger may not have been wearing seatbelts. The force of the collision ejected the passenger from the taxi. None of the four vehicle occupants involved in the crash survived.
Authorities believe that the driver of the vehicle that struck the taxi could have been traveling in the wrong direction for some time. They claim to have received multiple reports of a vehicle going the wrong way prior to the collision. The crash necessitated closure of all northbound lanes of Highway 101 for several hours thereafter.
The Bay Area has reportedly seen an increase in DUI arrests, from 6,582 in 2018 to 7,796 so far in 2019. Those facing charges related to drunk driving may wish to consult an attorney.