In fast-moving traffic, a single mistake on behalf of one driver can cause a significant amount of damage as fellow drivers slam on their brakes or make sudden turns to avoid being caught in the wreckage. Several California motorists discovered this fact first-hand when one swerving driver caused a 10-car pileup along a stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway.
The accident occurred in Newport Beach, where one of the cars moved out of its lane and struck opposing traffic, including several other cars and a motorcycle.
The driver of the car which appeared to have caused the pileup was killed instantly as her vehicle was launched off the road. The victim was a young Stanford University athlete whom police believe was speeding before the accident occurred.
One of the vehicles in the oncoming lane was carrying two passengers who also died at the scene after colliding with the student’s car. The motorcyclist who found himself caught up in the crash was transported to a Santa Ana hospital and where he is said to be in the process of recovering from his injuries. Other drivers also reported to a Newport Beach hospital with minor, crash-related injuries.
Investigators have not ruled out the possibility that drugs or alcohol may also have inhibited the young student’s driving ability. It is also not clear whether or not the driver was texting, talking on her cell phone, or engaging in another form of distracted driving at the time of the accident.
Source: Los Angeles Times. “Driver at heart of 10-car pileup in Newport beach was a former Standofrd track star.” Howard Blume and Ruben Vives, 17 January 2011