9 Hospitalized After Wrong-Way Driver Slams Into Van in Brentwood

The driver of a stolen vehicle traveling in the wrong direction on Highway 4 in Brentwood Saturday evening smashed head-on into a van, sending nine people — including two children — to the hospital, according the California Highway Patrol. 

The two-car crash occurred just after 8 p.m. along westbound Highway 4 between Lone Tree Way and Sand Creek Road, CHP officials said.

A stolen Honda Accord out of Concord started driving in the wrong direction "at a high rate of speed" before slamming into a Honda Odyssey van carrying seven people, according to the CHP. 

Those riding in the van ranged in age from a 1-year-old girl to a 72-year-old woman, according to the CHP. Most of the victims suffered minor injuries, but a 61-year-old female suffered major injuries. She was listed in stable condition.

Two people riding in the stolen vehicle also sustained injuries, according to the CHP. The car's driver, who has been identified as Rafael Duarte, 24, of Oakley, was transported to the hospital after suffering minor injuries. He was later arrested on a multitude of charges including felony driving under the influence, possession and driving of a stolen vehicle, unlicensed driver's license, no vehicle insurance, and driving wrong way on a highway causing injury.

A 22-year-old passenger in the stolen vehicle suffered major injuries, but was listed in stable condition, according to the CHP.

Helicopters were called in to transport some of the victims. As a result, Highway 4 was temporarily shut down.

An investigation into the crash is ongoing. Anyone with more information is asked to contact the CHP Contra Costa office.

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