Two people were killed along Interstate 15 early Saturday morning when a wrong-way suspected DUI driver plowed into a vehicle carrying a family of five near Scripps Ranch.
According to California Highway Patrol (CHP) officials, the deadly crash happened around 3:10 a.m. on southbound I-15 north of Mira Mesa Boulevard.
The CHP said the 21-year-old driver of a black Audi A4 was driving in the wrong direction in the express lanes of the freeway when he collided head-on with a Honda Civic carrying five people.
The Honda Civic changed lanes to avoid the collision with the wrong-way driver, but the wrong-way driver simultaneously did the same maneuver and the vehicles collided head-on.
The CHP said the Honda Civic came to rest in the freeway lane while the Audi was high-sided on the concrete barrier.
The impact was so strong, officials said, both the driver of the Honda Civic – an 55-year-old man – and an 84-year-old female passenger died at the scene.
Officials said at least one person was ejected from one of the mangled cars.
The Audi landed on the center divider along the freeway.
Meanwhile, fire crews had to pry out three other passengers trapped in the back seat of the wrecked Honda Civic -- the driver's wife and their two children ages 19 and 21.
The driver of the Audi also had to be extricated from his vehicle.
All four survivors were transported to local hospitals with major unspecified injuries. Their conditions were unknown as of 10:30 a.m. Saturday.
CHP officials said they had arrested the driver of the Audi on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.
The names of the victims killed in the collision were not immediately released, but the family is from Escondido, officials confirmed.
The fatal crash remains under investigation.