San Francisco, CA – A taxicab was hit head-on by a Volkswagen Cabrio going the wrong way on northbound Highway 101, killing four people.
The California Highway Patrol identified the wrong-way driver as 34-year-old Emilie Ross from Hillsborough. CHP Officer Bert Diaz said that they knew there was someone driving the wrong way. However, they couldn’t catch up to the car.
“We did get multiple calls with multiple locations Northbound 101 at the 280 split,” Officer Diaz said. “It is very possible it could’ve been traveling for quite some time.”
Furthermore, officers identified the driver of the taxi was a 43-year-old man who lived in San Carlos. His passengers were 62-year-old Judson Bergman of Barrington, Illinois and 57-year-old Mary Miller of Chicago. They were allegedly on their way into the city from the San Francisco International Airport.
However, none of them survived the crash.
Officer Diaz says it’s possible that the taxi might have failed to notice the other car because of the blind curves in that area. “It does kind of go up on a crest, and a slight right turn,” Officer Diaz stated. “Even if that vehicle was traveling at freeway speed, it would have been hard to see.”
Furthermore, they claim that the Hillsborough woman was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the incident. Hence, the CHP is reminding drivers to drive responsibly and to report possibly intoxicated drivers.
“We would like to extend our condolences to the families of all involved in this tragedy,” the CHP said in a statement. “The CHP takes DUI and wrong-way driving incidents very seriously.”
This incident marks the 25th wrong-way collision on highways in the Bay Area this year. 10 of which have resulted in 19 deaths, CHP officials said.
“This is a problem that is affecting the entire Bay Area,” CHP – Golden Gate Division Chief Ernie Sanchez said. “Rest assured that the California Highway Patrol will continue to work closely with our stakeholders, to include Caltrans, in order to identify and improve the potential on and off-ramps where motorists are entering freeways traveling in the wrong direction.”
Sanchez added, “In addition, CHP will continue partnering with law enforcement agencies on proactive enforcement and work to identify avenues to prevent motorists from entering freeways from city streets, while driving in the wrong direction.”
The family of the slain taxi driver set up a GoFundMe page to help with funeral plans and costs.