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2 young drivers killed, DUI suspected in wrong-way crash

RAINBOW, Calif. — A possibly inebriated driver heading the wrong way on Interstate 15 near Rainbow caused a crash that killed both him and the driver of the car he struck, a California Highway Patrol officer said Saturday.

The wrong-way driver was identified as a 23-year-old Lake Elsinore man, and the victim in the other car was a 20-year-old woman from Murrieta, according to CHP Officer Mark Latulippe. Their names were not released.

Dispatchers received a call just after 11 p.m. Saturday reporting that a white Hyundai Elantra had entered I-15 at Deer Springs Road, traveling north in the southbound lanes, Latulippe said. An officer from the CHP’s Oceanside office started a traffic break near state Route 76 in an effort to stop the wrong-way driver.

The Hyundai did not stop for the traffic break and continued heading the wrong direction at a high speed, according to Latulippe. A second CHP unit from Temecula responded to assist, but dispatchers received another call at 11:17 p.m. reporting that the Hyundai had crashed into a gray Honda Civic that had been traveling in the correct direction on southbound I-15 near Rainbow Valley Boulevard.

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