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Eastbound 10 Freeway closed by collision involving possible wrong-way driver [UPDATED]

January 28, 2009 |  7:10 am

CHP officer at the scene of a double-fatality on the east-bound 10 Freeway

Newthumb Full story: I-10 reopened after two killed in wrong-way crash

The eastbound 10 Freeway is shut down this morning, backing up traffic for miles, after two men were killed in a collision that may have involved a wrong-way driver, authorities said.

At least two vehicles in the eastbound lanes were involved in the collision, which occurred about 5 a.m. just west of National Boulevard and left one car engulfed in flames, said Officer Francisco Villalobos of the California Highway Patrol.

Villalobos said the CHP is still investigating the cause of the accident and are following up on earlier reports of a Honda Civic traveling westbound in the eastbound lanes.

“There were reports of a wrong-way driver earlier,” he said. “We still do not have how many vehicles were involved or the total number of injuries. Officers are sorting through the information they’re getting at the scene. At a lot of collision scenes, people stop to assist. We’re waiting to get information as to how many were actually involved.”

See KTLA video after the jump.

All eastbound lanes and two westbound lanes of the 10 (a.k.a. the Santa Monica Freeway) have been closed off at the 405 Freeway. Drivers can travel east starting at Overland Avenue. Transition roads from the 405 to the eastbound 10 are also closed.

Updated at 8:14 a.m.: The eastbound lanes of the 10 Freeway currently closed off at the 405 Freeway may be opened about 1 p.m., according to a California Highway Patrol official. Two lanes on the westbound 10 are still closed, and traffic is backed up from the 405 Freeway all the way east to the 110. Drivers are encouraged to stay off the highway and use side streets far away from the 10.

CHP Officer Francisco Villalobos confirmed that the two men in their 30s killed in the accident on the eastbound 10 were driving vehicles that crashed head-on. Both men were pronounced dead at the scene.

“It appears that both vehicles had solo occupants in them,” Villalobos said. “Only those two vehicles were involved.”

Villalobos said there were no other injuries reported and that earlier accounts of a third person in critical condition looks to be unfounded.

-- Corina Knoll

Photo: A California Highway Patrol officer at the scene of the collision that killed two and closed a portion of the eastbound 10 Freeway. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Click here for more photos of the accident scene.

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