MARTINEZ (CBS SF) — A man driving a stolen Volvo in excess of 100 mph on Highway 4 was killed early Friday when his vehicle careened out of control into a metal guardrail, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The CHP said it got a call at approximately 1:35 a.m. of an overturned solo vehicle collision on westbound Highway 4 just east of Franklin Canyon Rd.
Upon arrival, emergency personnel and CHP officers discovered the male driver had been ejected from a silver Volvo and was lying in the roadway. He was pronounced deceased at the scene.
The Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Coroners Office will be handling the release of identity of the driver.
While at the scene and conducting the investigation, a registration/vehicle check was conducted on the Volvo and it was determined that it had been recently stolen from a residence in Martinez just prior to the time of the collision.
Investigators said it appeared the driver of the Volvo was traveling on Highway 4 in excess of 100 mph. The driver veered into the center dirt median and collided with the center metal guardrail, causing the Volvo to spin out of control. It then hurled back across the lanes of traffic, overturned, and came to rest on the right shoulder.
The driver was ejected through the closed sun roof and landed in the roadway.
This incident was still under investigation. If anyone witnessed this collision or the events leading up to it, please contact Contra Costa CHP in Martinez at (925) 646-4980.
The accident was a sad reminder of a trend CHP officers say they have seen on the rise since the shelter in place shutdown began. More drivers are maxing out their speeds on the freeway, often going over 100 miles per hour.
“We are seeing a lot of individuals unfortunately taking advantage of the situation and we are seeing some highers speeds,” said Ofc. John Fransen, the spokesperson for CHPs Golden Gate Division.
Highway Patrol offices across the Bay Area are posting pictures to social media showing speeding tickets or radar speeds. Almost show pictures of drivers who’ve been caught driving with speeds in the triple digits.
It’s a trend that’s backed up by newly released data. CHP looked at the number of speeding tickets written state-wide from March 19 to 29 last year compared to this year.
The number of tickets written to people going over the posted speed limit was basically cut in half, mostly because there are fewer cars on the road.
The number of tickets written to drivers going over 100 miles per hour is up more than 25% with 418 tickets written last year versus 543 citations this year during the same 10-day period.