A head-on collision involving a wrong-way motorist on a freeway in the downtown Los Angeles area Friday left a taxi driver dead and three other people injured, including the suspect, who was arrested.
The crash was reported at 2:49 a.m. on the northbound Harbor (110) Freeway south of Adams Boulevard, according to the California Highway Patrol.
“Preliminary investigation suggests the driver and passenger of a Chevy Cruze were traveling southbound in northbound lanes of (the) Harbor Freeway south of Adams Blvd. prior to colliding head on with a Toyota Prius taxi cab traveling northbound,” the CHP said in a statement.
“Upon emergency personnel arrival, two occupants were extricated from the Chevy Cruze along with one passenger from the Toyota Prius,” the CHP said. “The driver of the Toyota Prius was pronounced deceased on scene by Los Angeles City Fire Department staff.”
The Los Angeles County coroner’s office identified the fatally injured man as Ken Balayev, 71, of Calabasas.
The driver of the Chevrolet, 23-year-old Samantha Molina of Los Angeles, was hospitalized for treatment of “major” injuries, and she was arrested, pending the possible filing of undisclosed charges, the CHP reported.
A passenger in the Chevrolet, 21-year-old Francisco Gil of Los Angeles, was hospitalized for treatment of “major” injuries, the CHP reported.
A passenger in the Toyota, 48-year-old Richard Wold of Los Angeles, was taken to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries, the CHP reported.
The crash prompted the closure of all lanes of the northbound freeway while an investigation was conducted. The lanes were reopened shortly after 6 a.m., the CHP reported.
Anyone with information on the case was urged to call the CHP Central Los Angeles Area office at 231-744-2337 or 323-259-3200.