Three people were killed late Tuesday night in a five-vehicle crash that closed all lanes of northbound Interstate 880 in Fremont, and officials say the driver suspected of causing the wreck was under the influence of marijuana.
Three people died at the scene, and five others, including a child in critical condition, were rushed to hospitals, California Highway Patrol officials said. The three people who died have been identified as Noelle Johnson, 39, 14-year-old Christy Limas and 9-year-old Brooke Limas, all of Manteca.
Minutes before the crash, several 911 callers reported a reckless, speeding driver on the major East Bay freeway, according to officials.
The driver, identified as 21-year-old Dang Nguyen Hai Tran of San Jose, was not injured and has been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of marijuana, according to the CHP.
The CHP said Wednesday that the 2002 Toyota driven by Tran was traveling northbound on I-880, south of Stevenson Boulevard and for unknown reasons made a lane change to the left, apparently causing the vehicle to collide with a 2015 Cadillac Escalade. Both vehicles lost control, causing the Toyota Camry to veer left and the Cadillac to overturn, the CHP said.
Four passengers were ejected from the Escalade, including the three who died at the scene. None of them was wearing a seatbelt, the CHP said.
The crash, which occurred at about 9:30 p.m., shut down the northbound lanes of the freeway and backed up traffic for about three miles, the CHP said.
The Manteca Unified School District said the two children who died attend Brock Elliott Elementary School and Sierra High School.
"We encourage families to be especially sensitive and prepared to offer support to their children during this time. District staff inclusive of additional counselors will be on site to offer support throughout the week," the MUSD said in a statement.
All northbound lanes reopened just after 6 a.m. on Wednesday.
Tran was booked into Santa Rita jail early Wednesday, and $195,000 was set for bail. He's due in court for arraignment on Thursday.
The crash remains under investigation, the CHP said.