A driver has been arrested on suspicion of DUI and vehicular manslaughter after allegedly causing a fiery four-car crash that killed one person on Interstate Highway 580 Thursday morning, a California Highway Patrol officer said.
The crash was reported at 10:04 a.m. just east of North Livermore Avenue. The incident initially blocked traffic on both sides of the highway and a Sig-alert was issued at 10:14 a.m., CHP Officer Steve Creel said.
The driver in custody, Primitivo Garcia, 53, of Livermore, was arrested on the felony charges and booked into the Santa Rita Jail after being treated for his injuries at Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley, Creel said.
The crash appears to have occurred when a Hummer driven by Garcia struck a Jeep Cherokee from behind, Creel said.
Those two cars hit another two cars, and the Jeep burst into flames. The fire spread to the Hummer, but Garcia and his passenger, a man in his 20s, were able to escape.
The pair was taken to Eden Medical Center with what appeared to be minor injuries, Creel said.
Emergency crews were eventually able to approach the Jeep and determined there was at least one deceased person inside. Authorities have identified the victim as 29-year-old Reed Whittaker of Livermore.
Traffic was snarled for hours while the crash was investigated. Eastbound lanes were completely cleared around 11:30 a.m., but the westbound lanes were not cleared until about 2 p.m., when the Sig-alert was canceled.