Three people were killed and another three seriously injured in a violent 10-car pile-up when a speeding car veered into oncoming traffic on Pacific Coast Highway Saturday afternoon in Newport Beach.
• A Ford Taurus driven by a former Stanford track star crossed a double yellow line into oncoming traffic on PCH at 100 mph and crashed into 10 cars and a motorcycle.
• At one point the Taurus went airborne and literally flew into a turn lane at a busy intersection, crashing into several more vehicles, including a motorcycle.
• The Taurus driver and two others were killed. The motorcycle rider was critically injured. Two others were hospitalized with serious injuries but were expected to survive. The number of victims with less serious injuries was not released.
• Investigators did not immediately know if drugs or alcohol were factors in the accident.
Police said 27-year-old Newport Beach resident Julie Allen, a former Stanford track star, was driving her Ford Taurus along Pacific Coast Highway at excessive speed — nearly 100 mph, according to an ABC News report — when she crossed a double yellow line and veered into oncoming traffic.
She first crashed into a Toyota Prius. After that she plowed into another Taurus and a Nissan Titan pickup truck, and then she broadsided a Toyota Tacoma pickup. After ramming the Tacoma, the Taurus flipped into the air and literally flew for more than 50 feet before crashing into several vehicles in a southbound turn lane on Riverside Avenue, a very busy intersection with many pedestrians.
Witness Sam Schudi was among the drivers whose car was in that turn lane. He saw the Taurus came flying at him; it crashed into the hood of his vehicle. Other witnesses said a second car was airborne as well.
“It was a wall of cars coming at us,” Schudi told the Daily Pilot. The last vehicle Allen’s Taurus hit was a motorcycle.
Allen was killed in the crash, as were the two occupants of the Tacoma pickup truck: 49-year-old Christopher De La Cruz of Laguna Niguel and his mother, 69-year-old Linda Burnett of Santa Ana. The motorcycle rider sustained critical injuries. Two other victims, whose identities were not released, also were seriously injured but were expected to survive.
Newport Beach Police officer Bill Hartford called it an “extremely violent” collision. He classified it as a mass casualty accident.
The horrific pile-up shut down the highway for hours. It took emergency crews more than three hours just to extricate the dead bodies from the vehicles.
Hartford said investigators did not yet know if drugs or alcohol were factors.
The trial attorneys at Blackman Legal Group, a California-based law firm founded by renowned trial attorney Clifford Blackman, have successfully represented motor vehicle accident injury victims for 35 years. The nationwide toll-free number to call for a free consultation is 1-866-692-8126.