CHP says driver in wrong-way crash that killed 4 on Highway 101 in San Francisco was impaired

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Friday, October 4, 2019
CHP: Driver in Hwy 101 wrong-way crash that killed 4 was impaired
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Four people have died, including three people in a taxi, after a wrong-way crash on northbound Highway 101 in San Francisco this morning, according to the CHP.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The CHP has released new information about the four people killed in Thursday's early morning crash on Highway 101 that was caused by a wrong-way driver.

Police say the wrong-way driver was "impaired," but didn't elaborate. She's been identified as 34-year-old Emilie Ross from Hillsborough.

The driver of the taxi was a 42-year-old Berkant Ahmed who lived in San Carlos. His passengers were 62-year-old Judson Bergman from Barrington, Illinois and 57-year-old Mary Miller, a married couple from Chicago. None of them survived the crash.

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The taxi cab was hit head-on by a Volkswagen Cabrio going the wrong way on northbound Highway 101, north of Candlestick just past Paul Avenue. Officers knew there was someone driving the wrong way but couldn't catch up to the car.

"We did get multiple calls with multiple locations Northbound 101 at the 280 split. It is very possible it could've been traveling for quite some time," said CHP Officer Bert Diaz.

Officer Diaz says it's possible that the taxi may not have seen the other car given how the highway curves in that area.

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"It does kind of go up on a crest, and a slight right turn. Even if that vehicle was traveling at freeway speed, it would have been hard to see," says Officer Diaz.

According to the CHP, this is the 25th accident involving a wrong-way driver here in the Bay Area. Ten of those accidents were fatal, resulting in 19 deaths. Of the 25 accidents, 18 of them involved DUI drivers.

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Biniam Solomon has been driving a cab for the past six years. He says he knew the taxi driver who was killed.

Solomon says the night shift is tough since there is a higher chance of drivers at that time of night being tired or drunk. He says this the second wrong-way accident in which he knew the cab driver.

"It's very sad to hear," says Solomon. "It's not safe. You feel it. It's not the first time, I have seen it a lot of times."

The CHP says they are also investigating if the passengers in the cab were wearing their seats belts, since one of the passengers was ejected from the car.

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