Rachel Vargas was one of five people inside a car that California Highway Patrol officials said was speeding when the 19-year-old driver lost control and crashed into the center median. Vargas was the only one who did not get out before a 2000 Dodge Dakota pickup struck it from behind and smashed it up against the median once again.
She was pronounced dead on the scene, CHP Officer Steve Creel said.
A 19-year-old was also moderately injured because he was in the process of exiting the Taurus when it was struck. Two other 19-year-olds, a driver and passenger, as well as a 16-year-old passenger made it out of the car safely before the second crash.
The fatal crash occurred at 2:48 a.m. on northbound Interstate 680, south of Bernal Avenue.
Creel said police believe the 2003 Ford Taurus the teens were driving in "was traveling at an extremely high rate of speed, when it came upon traffic."
The driver, 19-year-old Drori Levi, of San Leandro, swerved to miss striking cars, lost control and ran into the center median, Creel said.
The Taurus temporarily blocked off several lanes of traffic. Levi and a fourth 19-year-old passenger exited the car and walked off the road.
Vargas remained in the car, and the
Creel said the driver of the Dodge, 23-year-old Jonathan Schroeder, of Los Altos, was not injured.
The 19-year-old passenger suffered moderate injuries to his head and body, and was taken to Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley.
The second collision left the Dodge in the middle lanes of the freeway, and it was soon struck by a third vehicle, a 2001 Ford F-150 truck driven by Donald Rodriguez, 55, of Brentwood.
All other traffic was able to get around the crash, Creel said.
He said several lanes of the freeway were shut down for cleanup and investigation until 4:45 a.m.
"There have been no arrests and everything is still under investigation," he said. "Alcohol did not play a factor."