Contra Costa Times
RICHMOND -- A San Jose man was killed early Wednesday when his minivan smashed into the center divide near the Central Avenue offramp in Richmond, then veered over three lanes of traffic before crashing down an embankment on Interstate 80, according to the California Highway Patrol.
No one else was injured and no other cars were involved.
CHP Officer Sam Morgan said officers were monitoring traffic near a construction zone on westbound I-80 between Potrero Avenue and Carlson Boulevard when they heard a grinding sound and saw a Kia Sedona minivan on I-80, missing one of its wheels.
Officers tried to stop the driver, a 50-year-old man from San Jose, but the minivan veered left, colliding with the center divider. The van then veered to the right, across three lanes of traffic and down an embankment adjacent to the Central Avenue exit.
The driver, who was wearing his seat belt, was declared dead at the scene, Morgan said.
His identity is being withheld pending notification of his family.
Investigators are trying to determine what caused the minivan to crash, but Morgan said that the vehicle's right front tire was flat. It was not known how long the driver may have been traveling on the flat tire, according to the CHP.
Officers were at the scene throughout the morning and the Central Avenue offramp was closed from the westbound lanes until about 8:25 a.m.