The CHP said 48-year-old Manjit Kaur, 21-year-old Jasdeep Kaur, and Manpreet Singh, 28, were killed after a Volkswagen SUV crashed into their Lexus sedan, which was stopped with a flat tire in the center median of northbound Highway 280 north of Edgewood Road in an unincorporated area west of Redwood City.
The car's driver, identified Amarjit Singh Multani, 56, was taken to Stanford Medical Center with moderate injuries and is in stable condition, CHP Officer Art Montiel said.
The driver and victims, all Santa Clara residents, appear to be family members, but Montiel said he did not know how they are related.
The driver of the SUV that crashed into the Lexus, identified as 82-year-old San Jose man G.A. Smith, suffered major injuries and was transported to Stanford Medical Center for treatment, Montiel said.
CHP officials originally believed that the elderly driver had suffered only minor injuries in the crash, but later learned that he had broken ribs and other serious injuries, he said. Smith is expected to survive.
According to the CHP, the San Jose man was headed north on Highway 280 north of Edgewood Road "at a high rate of speed" around 3:10 p.m. Friday when his Volkswagen SUV crashed into the Lexus in the roadway's median. Manjit and Jasdeep Kaur and Singh were pronounced dead at the scene.
Investigators are probing the circumstances surrounding the crash.
CHP officials Friday said Smith would likely be arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter upon his release from the hospital. Montiel said that as of this morning, the man had not been arrested.
"However, once the investigation is complete, we will see what charges, if any, are applicable," he said.
The officer said that traffic after the fatal crash was affected not only along northbound Highway 280 but also on U.S. Highway 101 and other connecting Bay Area roadways, Montiel said.
The roadway reopened around 7:25 p.m.
Montiel said the crash serves as a stark reminder to motorists not to stop in a roadway's center divider and to never change a tire on the freeway. Instead, the CHP advises motorists to pull off of the freeway or onto a right-hand shoulder in the event of vehicle problems.