PINOLE (CBS SF) — Two people were killed late Monday night when a wrong-way driver triggered a horrific crash on eastbound I-80 near the Appian Way exit, authorities said.
The California Highway Patrol said they received a call reporting the accident in the eastbound lanes just west of the exit at 11:43 p.m.READ MORE: UPDATE: Fawn Fire Grows to 6,850 Acres in Shasta County; No New Structures Destroyed
Tyra Chappell, 52, of American Canyon and Frederic “Mike” Chappell, 76, of Vallejo were in a 2000 Toyota pickup in the far right lane when their vehicle was hit by a 2005 Chevy Trailblazer headed the wrong way up the Appian Way offramp, authorities said.
The pair was pronounced dead at the scene, the California Highway Patrol said.
The man driving the Trailblazer was in stable condition at a local hospital on Tuesday morning, authorities said. His name was not released.
The Chappells were headed home after leaving UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland after visiting their 10-year-old son Marcos, who is hospitalized, recovering from a severe asthma attack.
“I was in shock earlier. It’s just kinda one of those things that you can’t believe it had happened,” said their son, Anthony Thompson.
Before the crash, Pinole police spotted the Trailblazer making several illegal maneuvers. The vehicle went on and off the freeway, finally exiting at Appian Way and stopping in the middle of an intersection, where a passenger got out.READ MORE: Costco Limits Water, Toilet Paper, Other Purchases Due To Supply Chain Delays
Police tried to get the Trailblazer to stop, but it left after the passenger exited. Police didn’t pursue the vehicle, but stayed with the passenger, according to the CHP.
Less than a minute after the Trailblazer left, the head-on crash happened.
“Obviously he was running from the cops, he was living wrong and hey, you can choose the sin, but you cannot choose the consequence. The consequences today was that I lost both my parents. My mom and dad are dead. They are not coming back. This is it,” Thompson said.
Now, the couple’s six children, grandchildren and great grandchildren are facing the prospect of Christmas without their parents and raising their brother alone.
“I don’t know how all of us kids are going to get through this without our dad, without Tyra. It’s not good,” said daughter Angelina Contreras.
The wreck is under investigation. Lanes on the freeway were closed until about 3:30 a.m.
According to a CHP spokesperson, authorities have seen a spike in the number of wrong-way driver incidents in the past year with a 66.6 percent increase in incidents from 2018.MORE NEWS: SF City Planners Won't Allow Taqueria El Farolito In North Beach Due To 'Chain Store' Ban
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