CHP investigates scene of fatal wrong-way crash on I-5 off-ramp

Posted at 3:27 PM, Mar 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-02 19:38:19-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - An off-ramp connecting northbound Interstate 5 to westbound I-8 was closed Friday morning as officers reassessed the scene of a crash earlier this week.

Just before 2 a.m. Monday, a Volkswagen Jetta was traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes of I-8 from Sunset Cliffs Boulevard, according to California Highway Patrol. The Jetta then entered northbound I-5 in the wrong direction and collided with a Toyota Camry.

An SUV then slammed into the rear end of the Camry, CHP said this week. The driver of the Jetta, identified as Justin Callahan, died at the scene. The driver and a passenger in the Camry were injured.

RELATED: Family disputes CHP's details of I-5 wrong-way crash

Based on that information, however, Callahan's family said the official information doesn't make sense. The 35-year-old's family told 10News Callahan usually drives home from work at the time of the crash and would have been traveling in the opposite direction that CHP officers claim he was traveling.

"It doesn't make any sense," Callahan's brother, Tommy Villafranca, said.  "Why would he get back on the freeway and get back the opposite direction?"

CHP spokesperson Jake Sanchez said it's not unusual for a crash scene to be reassessed in the daylight after a crash at night, but said it's too soon to say anything about what officers may have learned during Friday's investigation of the scene.

RELATED: Driver killed, 2 hurt in wrong-way crash on I-5

Officer Sanchez said they don't expect to release any new information until next week at the earliest.

When asked if the CHP stands by their original report, Officer Sanchez told 10News it is based on the responding officer's preliminary determination at the time, though it's possible a new conclusion could be reached based on new information.

A GoFundMe campaign has been established to help pay for arrangements to transport Callahan back to Wheatland, Calif., for a funeral.

RELATED: TIMELINE: Wrong-way crashes in San Diego