LIVERMORE -- A serious accident turned fatal Wednesday morning when a Honda Civic, disabled after it rear-ended another car, was struck by two other vehicles and burst into flames on eastbound Interstate 580, authorities said.
The Honda's driver, killed in the accident, has not been identified. No passengers were in the car, officials said.
The initial crash took place around 5:50 a.m. near the Greenville Road exit, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Steve Creel. The Honda was in either the number 1 or 2 lane when it rear-ended a red Mitsubishi Eclipse.
There were no traffic or weather issues in the area at the time, Creel said. Investigators were still trying to determine what caused the initial collision.
The Mitsubishi's driver managed to steer the car to the right shoulder, but the Honda remained near the fast lane, either disabled or moving very slowly, witnesses told the CHP. A couple of minutes later, a silver Nissan Murano attempted to swerve as it came upon the Honda, but it struck the car, spun out and came to rest on the right shoulder.
The Honda, disabled and with the driver possibly blacked out, was stopped between the number 2 and 3 lanes, Creel said. Another vehicle, a black Chevy Tahoe, noticed the car too late and slammed into it, a "huge impact" that shoved the Honda toward the center divider, where it was immediately engulfed in flames, Creel said.
Rescue crews were unable to get to the driver of the Honda due to the fire, he added. The female driver of the Chevy Tahoe was transported to a hospital as a precaution, but did not appear to suffer major injuries; no one else was hurt.
The crash closed four lanes on eastbound I-580 from about 7:20 a.m. until about 9:10 a.m. Westbound traffic slowed significantly as drivers were distracted by the scene.