LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com) — One person died and at least two others were hospitalized Saturday morning in critical condition following a wrong-way crash on the Gerald Desmond Bridge in Long Beach, according to police.
Officers responded to an injury traffic collision on the bridge, which carries four lanes of traffic from the 710 Freeway across the Cerritos Channel to Terminal Island, shortly after 7 a.m.
A preliminary investigation indicates a man driving a 2012 Mercedes Benz was traveling westbound in the eastbound lane, colliding with two vehicles, a 2014 Ford Fusion and a 2010 Nissan truck, Long Beach police told CBS2/KCAL9.
Fire officials said the male driver of the Nissan died at the scene. His name is being withheld pending notification of his next of kin.
CBS2/KCAL9 reporter Greg Mills said a Long Beach Police officer was also injured during a rescue. The officer had minor injuries to his arm, was taken to a hospital, treated and released.
Two additional male drivers were transported to area hospitals critical condition, including the suspect, police said.
The man driving the Mercedes — now identified as 28-yar-old Alvin Ray Shaw of Hawthorne — was apparently going the wrong-way when he hit the Fusion, driven by a 21-year-old San Pedro man. The truck and the Mercedes both burst into flames.
The bridge was closed in both directions for several hours during the on-scene investigation. Both east and westbound lanes re-opened to traffic around 3 p.m., according to Long Beach police.
Firefighters from five stations were called to assist in the rescue effort.
It is not known at this time if drugs or alcohol played a role in the accident, officials said.
On Saturday evening, the Long Beach Police department said the Mercedes driver had earlier been observed driving erratically and crashing into barricades near Special Olympics events. They followed the man along the Downtown Long Beach Bicycle Path but said they ultimately lost sight and contact with him.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call Long Beach Police Department Collision Investigation Detail Detective Sirilo Garcia at (562) 570-7355.