Driver killed as car smashes into tree

One person died and three others were hospitalized early this morning after the car they were in crashed head-on into a tree along U.S. Highway 101 in San Mateo, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Around 2:10 a.m., CHP officers responded to a crash along the highway’s northbound Third Avenue off-ramp, CHP officials said.

Upon arrival, officers learned a BMW coupe traveling in the highway’s northbound lanes attempted to exit the highway. When the driver exited onto the Third Avenue off-ramp, he somehow lost control of the vehicle, causing it to go off the roadway and crash into a tree, according to the CHP.

The driver was pronounced dead at the scene, CHP officials said.

The car’s three passengers, all San Mateo residents, were taken to a hospital. Two passengers, a 21-year-old and 22-year-old, suffer minor injuries, while the third passenger, a 21-year-old suffered major injuries.

Investigators believe all of the car’s occupants, including the driver, had been drinking alcohol, according to the CHP.

CHP officers closed the Third Avenue off-ramp for about two hours as they investigated the incident. The off-ramp has since reopened.

Anyone who may have witnessed the crash is encouraged to call CHP Officer D. Labarbera at (650) 369-6261.