SACRAMENTO – In the early hours of Sunday morning, a collision escalated into a physical altercation between two California drivers, leading to the deaths of both men.
The California Highway Patrol is still trying to piece together what happened in the deadly dispute along Interstate 5 outside of Sacramento. CHP officials spent most of the morning on I-5 investigating the scene, and the highway was closed for several hours.
“At about 3:44 this morning the highway patrol received reports of a traffic collision on I-5 northbound around Arena Boulevard,” said officer Mike Zerfas with North Sacramento CHP.
**Traffic Alert**CHP is investigating a major incident in the area of I-5 and Del Paso. Northbound I-5 will be shut down during this investigation. Northbound I-5 traffic is being diverted off at Arena Blvd. Traffic will be allowed back on at Elkhorn Blvd. #sacpd pic.twitter.com/T5YRZ2V8si
— Sacramento Police (@SacPolice) August 12, 2018
Officials are investigating this case as a homicide but believe the suspect is already dead.
According to the CHP, the drivers collided, then drove farther down the highway to Del Paso Road, where they fought. One of the drivers died due to injuries sustained in the altercation.
Authorities say one of the men pulled out a blunt object, beating the other and killing him.
“Fights on the freeway between angry motorists, whether it’s the result of a traffic collision or some sort of road rage type incident, occur quite often. Usually not in the middle of the lanes like it happened here,” Zerfas said.
Stretch of I-5 is shutdown while CHP investigates 2 deaths. According to CHP, 2 drivers collided early this morning. They then got into a physical fight that killed one of the drivers. The suspect was then walking on the freeway & was hit & killed by another car, CHP says @FOX40 pic.twitter.com/0FOg2lno9n
— Jessica Mensch (@Jessmensch) August 12, 2018
After the fight, the CHP says the suspect tried to leave the scene and walked into the middle of the freeway, where he was hit by a car and died.
Officers say the situation could have been avoided.
“If you’re involved in a traffic collision call 911, report the incident and let officers come out to the scene. And if there’s any type of conflict between the involved motorists that’s for us to handle,” Zerfas said.
The driver who hit the suspect stayed at the scene and is cooperating with the investigation.
The CHP says they don’t yet know whether any charges will be filed against that driver.