SANTA ANA — A wrong-way driver suspected of DUI plowed head-on into another car on the 5 Freeway early Saturday, leaving five people injured, the California Highway Patrol said.
The car that caused the crash was traveling southbound in the northbound carpool lane near First Street around 1:32 a.m., CHP Sgt. Hope Maxson said.
Four people in the car that was hit were transported to the hospital with major injuries, she said.
Maxson said the driver of the wrong-way vehicle, Blanca Estela Duarte-Vidrio, 53, of San Juan Capistrano, was also hospitalized with major injuries where she remained Saturday evening. Authorities expect to arrest Duarte-Vidrio on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
“Traffic was a nightmare,” Maxson said. “We had a hard time getting to the crash itself.”
Drivers were parked along the shoulder, and traffic had to be stopped to allow ambulances and fire trucks to reach the crash by driving the wrong way on the freeway, she said.
Additional details about the injured people were not immediately released.