One killed when wrong-way driver in Mercedes crashes into BMW on 73 Freeway, CHP says

A 65-year-old woman was killed Wednesday in a multi-vehicle crash involving a wrong-way driver on the 73 Freeway in the Newport Beach area.

Witnesses reported seeing a silver Mercedes-Benz being driven erratically and traveling at high speed just before 9 a.m., said California Highway Patrol Officer John DeMatteo. The driver -- a 23-year-old Newport Beach man -- entered the freeway at Birch Street going south in the northbound lanes, DeMatteo said, and was reportedly traveling in excess of 100 mph.

A few drivers managed to avoid the Mercedes before it slammed into a white BMW, DeMatteo said. A white Lexus then crashed into the Mercedes, he said.

The Mercedes driver, whose name was not immediately released, was taken to OC Global Medical Center in Santa Ana, DeMatteo said. The woman driving the BMW was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver and the passenger in the Lexus avoided injury, DeMatteo said.

CNS contributed to this report.