Witnesses described a scene of chaos.
Kevin Cunningham's dashcam captured footage of the driver headed south in northbound lanes of Highway 101 near University Avenue around 2 am Sunday.
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"What was going through my mind is something I can't say in this interview, it freaked us out," said Cunningham.
But seconds later, the CHP says that wrong-way driver collided head-on with a white Mercedes, injuring the driver.
The wrong way vehicle then caught fire, and its unidentified driver was killed.
Minutes later, there was chaos in southbound lanes as some drivers slowed to see the crash. What happened next was caught on camera.
Wrong way driver crash kills 1, injures 5 others on Hwy 101 in #PaloAlto this morning. WATCH as chain reaction crashes happen after some drivers slowed to look. Story at 5/6p @abc7newsbayarea @DionLimTV https://t.co/9htUYau2Su pic.twitter.com/Biw8qvcyqY— Cornell Barnard (@CornellBarnard) June 16, 2019
The CHP says a chain reaction pileup followed. Passengers riding in a Honda were injured when they got out of their car on the freeway, only to be struck by an oncoming vehicle.
"The car that hit them was driven by a solo driver who was arrested, suspected of DUI," said CHP Officer Dave Morey.
The CHP says five people were taken to the hospital, one of which was listed in critical condition at Stanford Medical Center as of late Sunday.
The CHP says it's unclear how long the wrong-way driver was traveling on Highway 101 before the crash, or why.