A wrong-way driver who was killed in a head-on crash in Richmond early Tuesday morning has been identified as 19-year-old San Rafael resident Sandy Vindell-Silva, according to the Contra Costa County coroner's office.
The California Highway Patrol received a call at 12:57 a.m. reporting a vehicle traveling east in the westbound lanes of Interstate Highway 580 near Harbour Way South, CHP Officer Sam Morgan said.
Officers arrived in the area about four minutes later and found the aftermath of a crash involving a box truck and a 2002 Honda CRV, Morgan said.
Both vehicles were on the right shoulder by the time officers arrived.
Vindell-Silva, the driver of the Honda that had been going the wrong way, was severely injured. Officers rendered aid to her, but were unable to save her and she died at the scene, Morgan said.
The driver of the box truck was not injured.
Officers at the scene detected a strong odor of alcohol on Vindell-Silva, Morgan said. However, no open containers were found in her vehicle and investigators are waiting for the results of toxicology tests to see if she was impaired.
The driver of the box truck was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The crash remains under investigation.
The highway was closed for about 10 minutes while investigators documented the crash and then officers opened several lanes to let traffic through. The road was completely reopened by 1:50 a.m., Morgan said
As a side note, Morgan said that the lane markers on highways, known as "Botts' dots", will appear white when a driver is traveling in the correct direction and red if a motorist is headed the wrong way.
"If you see red lane markers, you know you're going in the wrong direction," Morgan said.