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Suspected drunk driver initiates fatal crash on I405

Three men died early Friday morning after a three-vehicle crash on the 405 freeway in Carson. The crash was initiated by a suspected drunken driver around 1 a.m. in the northbound lanes of the 405 at Wilmington Avenue. The freeway was shut down until early morning when workers cleared the wreckage.

A driver of a Toyota Prius came up behind a Chevy Silverado truck, and hit the trailer the truck was towing. Both vehicles spun out of control, and came to a stop, blocking the carpool and two leftmost lanes. An Uber driver in a Toyota Corolla came upon the stopped cars and pulled over to the shoulder. One passenger got out of the Uber, and ran across the freeway lanes.

As two people from the Silverado truck and the Uber passenger stood on the side of the freeway, a driver of an approaching Toyota Camry swerved to the left to avoid the crash and hit the Silverado's trailer. The Camry struck the center divider and hit the three men standing next to the barrier wall. All three were pronounced dead at the scene.

The Prius driver, whose identity has not yet been released, was arrested by CHP on suspicion of drunken driving. CHP intends to investigate her speed, and she faces possible vehicular manslaughter charges. Vehicular manslaughter in California is covered under Penal Code 192(c), and is defined as causing the death of another person while driving a vehicle, by negligently committing an unlawful act that is not a California felony or a lawful act that may cause death.

Penal Code 192(c) is a "wobbler" offense in California, meaning it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. If charged as a felony and convicted, the driver could face the maximum felony sentence of six years in state prison.

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