POMONA, Calif. — A wrong-way driver on a Southern California freeway was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving after a predawn crash with multiple vehicles Sunday that left six people dead, the California Highway Patrol said.
Police arrested the 21-year-old female driver on suspicion of driving under the influence and manslaughter in connection with the 4:40 a.m. accident on the westbound Pomona freeway, or State Route 60, in Diamond Bar, said Rodrigo Jimenez, a California Highway Patrol spokesman.
The female driver was in serious condition at a Los Angeles County hospital with a broken femur and a ruptured bladder, Jimenez said.
Authorities were seeking blood tests. Investigators ‘‘believe from what they found in the vehicle that alcohol was involved,’’ said Lieutenant Fred Corral of the Los Angeles County coroner’s office.
Jimenez said the woman was traveling east in a red Chevrolet Camaro when it collided head-on with a red Ford Explorer. The sequence of events involving the other vehicles was not immediately clear. At least two people were ejected from their vehicles, Jimenez said.
Four people were pronounced dead at the scene, and two people died at an area hospital, authorities said. The freeway lanes in both directions were closed for hours Sunday.
Also Sunday, the Florida Highway Patrol said five people died in a fiery, head-on collision on a Tampa Bay-area highway. The driver of an SUV was heading south in the northbound lanes of Interstate 275 in Tampa about 2 a.m. when the vehicle collided head-on with a sedan.
Authorities say the SUV driver died at the scene, along with four college students in the second car. Officials are investigating whether drugs or alcohol played a role.
In southwestern Arkansas on Sunday, officials resumed a search for one of two people who jumped from an interstate bridge into an icy river to avoid a jackknifed 18-wheeler that was skidding toward them.
Keith Stephens, a spokesman for the state Game and Fish Commission, which is leading the search, said boats with sonar were combing the Little Red River. The missing person’s name has not been released.
Three people were outside their vehicles after an earlier accident on the Interstate 30 bridge near Fulton, Ark., when a commercial truck jackknifed and slid toward them. Two people leapt over the guardrail and into the water.
One person was recovered almost immediately, State Police said.