Wrong Way 101 Driver Dead in Carpinteria

Monday, February 17, 2014
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A wrong way driver is dead after entering the 101 freeway in the opposite direction early Monday morning and colliding with two additional cars near Santa Monica Road in Carpinteria. The name of the deceased has not yet been released, but according to a report from the California Highway Patrol, he was a 44-year-old male from Newbury Park driving a 2001 Infiniti I30 that had been going in the wrong direction since Summerland.

CHP officers were actively trying to find the driver at the time of the crash, which was also preceded by a noninjury accident further up the road. It is unknown whether alcohol or drugs played a factor in the accident, and an investigation is ongoing.

The incident occurred at about 1:07 a.m. on February 17 just north of the Santa Monica Road turnoff, when the Infiniti, going southbound in northbound lanes, struck a Nissan Altima driven by Rosie Bermudez, 32 of Goleta, with Manual Partida, 32 of Goleta, as a passenger; both had minor injuries.

The Infiniti continued driving, “out of control” according to the report, before slamming into a Honda Odyssey; both cars quickly caught on fire. The driver and passenger of the Honda, Phuc Thanh Le, 47, and Thoi Phan, 36, both of Goleta, were able to escape their vehicle as it caught fire along with two children, aged 5 and 13; Le sustained major injuries, through Phan’s were considered minor.

The driver of the Infiniti, however, did not escape his burning car, and died at the scene. The 101 was closed for several hours.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Can't believe that there are still wrong way drivers.

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
February 17, 2014 at 7:01 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I believe that all of the off ramps need to have those "wrong way" tire poppers on them so that if people get on the wrong way they can't do this type of stuff...

santabarbarasand (anonymous profile)
February 18, 2014 at 7 a.m. (Suggest removal)

We seem to have several wrong way drivers on the 101 each year. Really, really frightening, far more frightening than bicyclists on our roads.

snugspout (anonymous profile)
February 18, 2014 at 7:22 a.m. (Suggest removal)

They say nothing good happens from 12:00 am to 6:00 am.

blahblahmoreblah (anonymous profile)
February 18, 2014 at 10:20 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I agree, wrong way blades on exits. This seems to be happening with more frequency.

spacey (anonymous profile)
February 18, 2014 at 12:29 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I agree w/ the wrong way blades, but a lot of the incidents of wrong way drivers seems to involve some form of altered state of mind, either from intoxication, to a medical condition.
If that's the case, even with their tires torn to shreds, they'll keep on keepin' on down the highway like a missile.
But hey, its better than nothing, which is what we currently have in place for wrong way drivers.

blahblahmoreblah (anonymous profile)
February 18, 2014 at 12:45 p.m. (Suggest removal)

It is more than likely cheaper for the state to deal with the 0-5 car accidents caused by wrong way drivers in SB county each year then install and maintain wrong way blades at every off ramp indefinitely. In the future of autonomous vehicles, or even having every registered vehicle installed with GPS, we could eliminate many of these accidents by creating "geo fences", i.e. geographic boundaries, that in this case once breached, would tell the car to cut power to the engine.

SB2SB (anonymous profile)
February 18, 2014 at 1:42 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Frack a bunch of computer cars, obviously you have never heard of Michael Hastings..

It doesn't really matter if it costs 'the state' more money to install blades vs. cleaning accidents off the freeway, the fact is that all of the insurance payouts alone would likely dwarf the cost to install and maintain the wrongway blades. At least that is my guess based off the fact that there are wrong way blades installed at Hendry's beach which is a free parking lot, they can't possibly cost that much. If that is true, then even the free market would install this type or some similar type of mechanism for safety. Besides just the cost of these accidents, we have had loss of lives. And they probably don't need to be installed at every single freeway exit, these incidents seem to happen where the freeway exits turn into a residential street and are more ambiguous and they seem to happen less at the classic large freeway overpasses.

In fact, to make them less annoying maybe they could even hook them up so the blades only come up between the hours of 10pm and 7am or something so they don't get constantly pounded during the day.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
February 18, 2014 at 2:59 p.m. (Suggest removal)

They can pry my GPS-free car from my cold dead fingers.

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
February 18, 2014 at 7:17 p.m. (Suggest removal)

GPS technology is passive, i.e. it does not send a signal of your location, it simply compares precise time stamps sent from satellites to triangulate your location. My idea would be to have your on-board computer equipped with simple linear locations of off-ramps so if you pass through one the wrong way you're car would know you are about to enter a freeway going the wrong way. If you have ever used a cell phone to find something near you with a mapping application then you have already used this exact same concept.

SB2SB (anonymous profile)
February 19, 2014 at 9:27 a.m. (Suggest removal)

This idiot closed his last deal and nearly took others with him. It'll come back drunk and impaired. Good riddance to drunk driving trash.

Draxor (anonymous profile)
February 19, 2014 at 11:51 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Agree with Draxor. Thanks be that nobody else was killed by this moron.

GregMohr (anonymous profile)
February 19, 2014 at 12:09 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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