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UPDATE: Two killed in fiery I-10 collision, eastbound lanes reopened

Two motorists were killed in a head-on collision late Wednesday night on Interstate 10 just west of Palm Springs. Their vehicles collided after the California Highway Patrol said it had received reports of a wrong-way driver headed west in the freeway's eastbound lanes just west of Indian Canyon Drive minutes earlier.

The CHP identified one driver only as a Huntington Park man, 33, who was driving a 2012 Toyota Camry eastbound on the freeway in the eastbound lanes. He was struck by a driver in a 2020 Jeep Compass police said was driving the wrong way westbound on the freeway's center divide and fast lane.

The major collision scattered debris and shut down the eastbound freeway lanes between Indian Canyon Drive and Highway 62 for several hours. Traffic was back up to speed and moving again by 5:45 a.m.

The California Highway Patrol responded to the crash, first reported at 11:53 p.m. Dispatchers had received calls of a wrong-way motorist on the freeway minutes earlier at 11:48 p.m.

A CHP spokeswoman, Jackie Quintero, said the Jeep immediately became engulfed in flames. The drivers of both vehicles perished at the scene. 

The collision caused a major traffic backup near Highway 62 and Interstate 10 eastbound.

The right shoulder lane reopened to traffic just after 1:00 a.m.

There was no immediate word on the identities of any other motorists involved in the collision.

The CHP said the collision remained under investigation. Alcohol and/or drugs have not been ruled out as a contributing factor. Anyone with any information regarding the traffic collision is encouraged to call the investigating officer, Officer Armendariz, at (760) 772-5300.

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Thalia Bricker

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