LONG BEACH – A 21-year-old Palmdale woman driving the wrong way in the carpool lane of the Artesia (91) Freeway in Long Beach crashed into another vehicle Sunday, killing both drivers, authorities said.
The crash took place around 5:25 a.m. Sunday, July 25, near the Atlantic Avenue on-ramp of the eastbound freeway, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The Palmdale woman was driving a 2016 Honda between 70 and 85 mph westbound in the eastbound HOV lane when she crashed into a 30-year-old Hemet woman that was driving a 2016 Chrysler eastbound in the HOV lane at approximately 70 mph, according to the CHP.
The two female drivers were pronounced dead at the scene and at least one vehicle caught fire, the CHP said. The drivers’ names have not yet been released pending next of kin notification.
Authorities said the Honda was first spotted at around 5:20 a.m. by multiple 911 callers going up to 90 mph the wrong direction on the 91 Freeway near State College Boulevard just minutes before the fatal crash.
A Sigalert was issued at 5:47 a.m. shutting down all eastbound 91 Freeway lanes, just west of Atlantic Boulevard, as well as the transition road from the northbound Long Beach (710) Freeway to the eastbound 91 Freeway while the accident was investigated.
At 10:55 a.m., Caltrans reported that all lanes had reopened.
No further information on the crash was immediately available.
UPDATE: The deceased drivers have been identified as 21-year-old Sole Mitchell-Hall of Palmdale and 30-year-old Aaron Marlowe of Hemet, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office.