Two people were killed Tuesday in a wrong-way freeway crash on Interstate 15 in Victorville.
• An elderly woman drove a Toyota sedan up an exit ram and onto the I-15 freeway in the wrong direction.
• The Toyota hit an oncoming Cadillac head-on.
• The impact forced the Cadillac into another lane, where it hit a minivan.
• The wrong-way driver and the Cadillac driver both died. The minivan driver was not injured.
• The CHP said neither drugs nor alcohol were factors.
California Highway Patrol officer Chris Mensinger said that 86-year-old Marie Alessandro of Victorville drove a 2007 Toyota Corolla north up the Bear Valley Road exit ramp and onto the southbound side of the freeway.
Alessandro continued to drive north on southbound I-15 until Palmdale Road, where her car slammed head-on into a 1993 Cadillac El Dorado driven by 6y-year-old John Bushwalter of Helendale. The impact forced Bushwalter’s car into another lane, where it crashed into a 2006 Toyota Sienna minivan driven by a a 68-year-old man from Memphis, Tennessee.
Bushwalter was trapped in his car. Rescue workers extricated him from the vehicle, but he died at the scene. Alessandro suffered critical injuries. She was airlifted by helicopter to a hospital, where she died. The man from Tennessee was not injured. He drove himself away from the scene.
Neither drugs nor alcohol were involved in the accident, Mensinger said.
“It’s tragic and it’s sad,” Mensinger said. “At face value it appears that it was just an accident.
Wrong-Way Freeway Crashes Are Deadly
Hundreds of people die every year in wrong-way freeway crashes, according to the Federal Highway Administration. Thousands more are seriously injured.
Driving the wrong way on freeways has been a nagging traffic safety problem since the interstate highway system was founded in the late 1950s. Despite four decades of highway striping and sign improvements at freeway interchanges, the problem persists.
Most wrong-way drivers correct their mistakes before causing a crash by simply turning around and heading in the right direction. But some drivers, even when sober, head straight into oncoming traffic, often with deadly consequences.
California has a prevention program that funds safety improvements such as warning signs, striping, lights, and ramp designs that aim to stop deadly wrong-way freeway crashes.
If you see a wrong-way driver heading toward you:
- Pull over the shoulder and stop.
- Flash your high beams and sound your horn.
- Call 911 to report the situation.
Victorville Car Accident Lawyers
The trial attorneys at Blackman Legal Group, a California-based law firm founded by renowned trial attorney Clifford Blackman, have successfully represented car accident victims and their families for 35 years. The nationwide toll-free number to call for a free consultation is 1-866-692-8126.
- • Value: We offer discounted fees to callers who read our blog.
• Experience: Our attorneys are top-ranked.
• Consideration: We advance all expenses on cases. And we never charge a fee unless your case is successfully settled.