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Highway 101 Back Open After Deadly Wrong-Way Crash

By David M. Johnson, NewsChannel 3 Producer , david.johnson@keyt.com
Published On: Feb 17 2014 07:23:25 AM CST
Updated On: Feb 18 2014 02:30:16 PM CST

Wrong Way Driver hits 4-cars on the freeway

CARPINTERIA, Calif. -

One person is dead after a car traveling southbound in the northbound lane of Highway 101 slammed into another car and a minivan.

It happened just after 1 a.m. Monday on Highway 101 just north of the Santa Monica Road exit in Carpinteria.

The California Highway Patrol says the driver of an Infiniti I30, a 44-year-old man from Newbury Park, was traveling southbound in the northbound lanes when it collided with a Nissan Altima. The wrong-way driver then lost control before hitting a Honda minivan. Both the Infiniti and the Honda caught fire. The driver of the Infiniti was trapped inside and died at the scene.

The CHP says Phucthanh Le, from Goleta, was behind the wheel of the Honda minivan and suffered major injuries. His passenger, Thoi Phan, 36, had minor injuries. Two children, a 3 and 5-year-old were also in the Honda. All four were able to escape before the vehicle became engulfed in flames.

The two people in the Nissan are also from Goleta. Rosie Bermudez and Manuel Partida had minor injures in the crash.

The California Highway Patrol says the driver of the Infiniti was involved in a separate non-injury collision with another vehicle just before the fatal accident.

It's not immediately known if drugs or alcohol played a role in the collision.

The northbound side of Highway 101 was closed for several hours while CHP continued their investigation and reopened just before 6 a.m

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