Driver suspected of being under influence of marijuana in fatal Bay Area freeway crash

Posted at 10:02 AM, May 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-16 13:02:02-04

(KGTV) - A driver suspected of being under the influence of marijuana is accused of causing a multi-vehicle crash on a Bay Area freeway Tuesday that killed three people and injured several others, including a child.

Bay Area TV station KRON reported the crash involving five vehicles happened just after 9:30 p.m. on northbound Interstate 880 in Fremont, a city about 25 miles south of Oakland.

California Highway Patrol investigators are trying to piece together how the crash occurred, but officials confirmed to KRON that 21-year-old Dang Nguyen Hai Tran was arrested at the scene on suspicion of being under the influence of marijuana.

RELATED: What to know about 2018's new marijuana laws in California

According to CHP officials, three people were declared dead at the scene and five others were taken to area hospitals. One of the five people transported to the hospital was identified as a young child. The conditions of the injured are unknown.

KRON reported the three deceased individuals were ejected from a Cadillac Escalade SUV.

A California Highway Patrol officer told the East Bay Times that just before the crash, several people called 911 to report a reckless, speeding driver on I-880.

The crash forced the closure of all lanes overnight and into the Wednesday morning commute.

California laws when it comes to marijuana use and driving:

  • If you are under the influence of cannabis while operating a car, boat, or other vehicle, a law enforcement officer can pull you over and conduct a sobriety test. Violators are subject to DUI laws.
  • Having an open container of cannabis in a vehicle while driving or riding in the passenger seat is against the law.
  • If you have cannabis in a vehicle, it must be in an approved sealed package or container. Otherwise, it must be kept in the trunk.

According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, marijuana can cause these side effects for drivers: "lessening coordination, distorts sense of distance, hallucinations, depression, panic, fear."