East BayNews

Second person dies after Highway 24 wrong-way crash

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A second person has died following an early morning wrong-way crash early Sunday on state Highway 24 in Orinda.

The California Highway Patrol believe drugs or alcohol may have contributed to the head-on wreck reported shortly before 2 a.m. in westbound lanes of the freeway between Fish Ranch and Wilder roads.

A silver Saturn Vue and a black Toyota Camry collided and one male passenger in the Saturn was pronounced dead at the scene. The 35-year-old man driving the Saturn was taken to John Muir Hospital in Walnut Creek, but he died later from his injuries, the CHP said.

The names of the two crash victims have not been released. The wreck happened when the Saturn, headed eastbound in westbound lanes on Highway 24, collided with the Toyota.

All five males riding in the Toyota were taken to hospitals with major injuries, officials said.

The highway was partly closed for an investigation and a helicopter landing to transport a patient. Lanes were cleared about three hours later.

Alcohol and/or drugs are suspected to be a contributing factor with the driver from the Saturn, the CHP said.

The driver of the Toyota is not suspected of alcohol or drugs. Anyone who witnessed the collision or the events leading up to it is asked to call the Contra Costa CHP in Martinez at (925) 646-4980.

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