The Sacramento County Coroner's Office has identified the three people killed early this morning in a yead-on collision with a vehicle traveling in the wrong direction on Highway 50 near Gold River.
According to the California Highway Patrol, a man identified as Oliverio Lopez, 41, died inside a Pontiac SUV that was struck about 12:45 a.m. by a Honda CRV that was eastbound on westbound Highway 50. Two women in the rear seat of the SUV, Francisca Temblador Raymundo, 58, of Mexico, and Margarita Temblador de Lopez, 53, of Sacramento, were ejected from the vehicle and died at the scene.
The driver of the SUV, Gustavo Sandoval-Gonzalez, 31, of Sacramento and a rear-seat passenger, Pedro Cornejo, 59, also of Sacramento, were reported in critical condition at area hospitals late this afternoon.
The driver and lone occupant of the 2007 Honda CRV, Christopher Thomas Rigsby, 41, of Redwood City, underwent surgery for a fractured elbow at U.C. Davis Medical Center, said CHP spokesman Officer Jim Young.
Rigsby was arrested on suspicion of felony driving under the influence.
"We do believe alcohol was the cause," Young said.
The force of the crash caused the Pontiac, a 2001 Aztec, to flip on its roof and eject the two women in the rear seat. Oliverio Lopez was a passenger in the front seat and died inside the vehicle, Young said.
The crash left Rigsby trapped inside the Honda. He was freed by rescue workers, Young said.
According to CHP investigators, the Pontiac was traveling 62 mph in a 65-mph zone, while the Honda's speed was unknown.
Initial calls to the CHP early Monday reported a wrong-way driver on Highway 50 at Sunrise Boulevard.
"Our officers started responding," Young said, "and the next call was that there was a head-on collision."