According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), Arda Gulesserian, 64, of Corona del Mar was killed Wednesday morning when a wrong-way driver crashed into her BMW sedan on the 73 Freeway in Newport Beach.
Luke Fitch, 23, of Newport Beach, was later identified as the driver of the Mercedes that was going the wrong way down the 73 Freeway. According to the CHP, Fitch was driving south at a high rate of speed in the northbound lanes just before 9 a.m.. The CHP reports that the Mercedes hit Gulesserian’s BMW causing a crash that resulted in Gulesserian dying at the scene.
Immediately following the fatal car crash a Lexus struck the Mercedes as well. No one in the Lexus was reported injured.
Fitch had entered the freeway at Birch Street and was going upward of 100 miles per hour before the car crashed near Campus Drive, police said. “He was seen driving erratically on surface streets before entering (the freeway).”
Fitch was taken to a hospital with serious injuries. He underwent at least one surgery and was expected to remain in treatment for an extended period of time.
Police stated that they are currently investigating whether drugs, alcohol or any other factors played a role in the crash.
“Investigators have not ruled anything out,” they said in a statement. “It is yet to be determined what led up to the crash.“
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