A collision on state Highway 17 in Santa Cruz in which a woman was killed during rush hour on Monday was intentionally caused by a wrong-way driver, according to the California Highway Patrol. The collision occurred at about 3:10 p.m. on the transition from southbound Highway 17 to northbound state Highway 1, near the Ocean Street exit, according to the CHP.
The victim, whose name will not be released until her family is notified, was a 49-year-old woman from Santa Cruz. She was driving north on Highway 1 when the suspect, identified as 29-year-old Eric Weers, of Soquel, drove his silver Acura SUV head-on toward her and collided with the woman’s maroon Chrysler sedan. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene.
Weers’ SUV caught on fire, but he managed to escape unharmed, CHP Officer Hatcher said. A preliminary investigation indicated the collision was intentional, but that the vehicle Weers collided with was chosen at random, Hatcher said. “There was an element of premeditation,” Hatcher said. Alcohol and drugs do not appear to have factored into the crash, he said.
Weers was arrested on suspicion of murder, assault with a deadly weapon, driving the wrong way on a divided highway, and vehicular manslaughter.
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