SACRAMENTO – In the early hours of the 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 Sunday 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.
Officials are investigating the 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 said 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.
After the fight, the CHP said 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 said 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 said they don’t yet know whether any charges will be filed against that driver.