The driver of a minivan was killed in an apparent road-rage crash on Interstate Highway 80 early this morning, a California Highway Patrol spokesman said.
The crash was reported around 5:40 a.m. on westbound I-80 just west of Carlson Boulevard.
CHP Officer Sam Morgan said two vehicles were involved, a 1989 Ford van and a 2000 GMC pickup truck with two occupants.
“It appears that this may have been a road rage-type incident,” Morgan said.
He said a preliminary investigation indicates that just before the crash, the driver of the minivan was trying to “brake check” the driver of the pickup.
He said “brake checking” generally involves one driver accelerating to pass another driver, then getting in front of the other car and hitting or tapping the brakes.
However, in attempting the maneuver, the minivan struck the side of the pickup truck and the van’s driver lost control and hit the center divider, Morgan said.
The van overturned several times and came to rest in lane No. 2, he said. The driver, who was alone in the car, died at the scene.
The driver and passenger in the pickup did not suffer any serious injuries and did not need to be taken to a hospital, Morgan said. They remained at the scene and are speaking to investigators.
The registered owner of the minivan lives in El Sobrante, but the CHP is still trying to confirm the driver’s identity.
The CHP is also investigating whether the occupants of the two cars knew each other and what type of interaction may have occurred before the crash.
However, Morgan said, “It appears that the driver of the van may be at fault in this collision.”
The crash initially blocked three lanes of westbound I-80, causing a “significant” traffic backup, Morgan said.
All lanes reopened just before 8 a.m.
Anyone with information on the collision is asked to call the Oakland-area CHP office at (510) 450-3821 or (800) TELL-CHP.
“These types of incidents are completely avoidable when people drive responsibly,” Morgan said.