Two die in bridge collision

Daily Planet Wire Services
Monday July 08, 2002

A 37-year-old Fremont man was arrested today for driving the wrong way down the Dumbarton Bridge with his headlights off and causing a head-on collision that killed two adults and critically injured two children out of Redwood City. 

The California Highway Patrol says Luis Armando Hidalgo has been arrested on suspicion of felony drunken driving, gross vehicular manslaughter and felony hit-and-run for allegedly causing the nasty accident that occurred near the Dumbarton Bridge toll plaza just before midnight Saturday. 

The CHP said Hidalgo, driving a 1999 Chrysler 300M, was traveling east on westbound state Route 84 and struck a 2002 Toyota Tacoma driven by Oakland resident Maria DelCarmen before hitting a Plymouth Voyager minivan carrying the Redwood City family. 

A CHP spokesman said DelCarmen, 26, was traveling west and didn't see Hidalgo approaching because his headlights were off. At the last minute, she saw his car coming at her and swerved to avoid it. Hidalgo sideswiped her vehicle anyway, and allegedly continued down the wrong way on the bridge. 

DelCarmen, having suffered minor abdominal injuries, stopped at the collision scene. 

The CHP said Hidalgo then collided head on with the Voyager. Both vehicles erupted in flames. 

CHP officers and other motorists pulled the injured parties from their vehicles and initiated medical aid, but for some it was too late. 

The male driver, 35, was pronounced dead at the scene. A 38-year-old woman, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, was taken to Eden Medical Center where she died soon after her arrival.  

The Alameda County Coroner said this afternoon that it was not ready to release the names of the deceased, whom a spokeswoman said were not a married couple.