Wrong-Way Crash in S. California Kills 1, Injures More
At least one person died and several people have been injured in a wrong-way crash that involved multiple vehicles in Southern California.
The chain-reaction crash took place at 3:25 p.m. local time when a woman stole a silver pickup truck in San Bernardino, a spokesperson for the San Bernardino Police Department confirmed, KTLA reported.
— CBS Los Angeles (@CBSLA) January 23, 2018
A 4-year-old boy was in the back seat of the vehicle at the time it was stolen, the report said. The suspect dropped the child off somewhere after realizing he was inside the truck, officials said.
The father of the boy and another passerby attempted to follow the woman. However, they lost track of her, said CHP Sgt. Saul Gomez to the Los Angeles Times. The boy was found unhurt on the sidewalk around one mile away from where the truck was stolen.
The driver of the stolen truck then attempted to enter the 210 freeway from an exit ramp and traveled the wrong way.
Breaking: eastbound 210 in #Claremont will be CLOSED For FIVE hours following a head-on collision after a kidnapping and police pursuit from #SanBernardino. One dead, two critical. CHP expects freeway to reopen around 10 tonight. #cbsla pic.twitter.com/UISMBA3Ctb
— Jeff Vaughn (@JeffVaughn) January 23, 2018
The CHP then received reports of a driver going westbound in the eastbound lanes.
One person told officials that the driver was “doing donuts” and swerving at other cars to trying and hit them, according to KTLA. Another person said the driver appeared to “purposely hit another vehicle.”
The truck then smashed into a car head-on, killing the driver of the car. The victim was identified as a man in his 60s, according to the Times.
Three other people were hurt in the incident, officials said.
The driver of the stolen truck was identified as Nicole Thibault, a 28-year-old woman from Santa Clarita.
“I’ve been at many scenes … this is one of the worst ones in my opinion, based on the vehicle intrusion,” CHP Sgt. Saul Gomez told KTLA. “Some of the vehicles are literally just torn apart, wheels fell off, parties trapped inside the vehicles. It was pretty gruesome.”
CBS Los Angeles reported that a 7-Eleven clerk in San Bernardino said the father was inside for seconds when the woman got into the truck and drove off.
Officials said the wrong-way crash took place just 10 minutes later.
Thibault was first listed critical condition following the crash, but her condition was later updated to stable, according to the CBS report. She hasn’t yet been charged with a crime.
According to jail records, Thibault was arrested four times in 13 months. The last time she was arrested was three weeks ago.