Home NEWS Local Scene Morning Dispatches: Busy Saturday Night In The 24/680

Morning Dispatches: Busy Saturday Night In The 24/680

Photo: Oakland CHP

Thanksgiving weekends are traditionally busy, with kids returning from college to hook up with old friends and celebrate the homecoming – sometimes too much.

NEWS24/680 kept the coffee maker percolating into the night as stories and contact from the readership climbed steadily and then seemed to peak around midnight, the traditional “Witching Hour” when things tend to go to pot.

Our News-Dar was up and scanning as things took a turn for the worse shortly after 8 p.m. when a car driven by a suspected drunk driver set off a chain reaction crash that left four dead and six injured, scattered wreckage over the highway in both directions on Interstate 80 at San Pablo Dam Road, and closed the freeway for several hours.

Investigators developed a description of the car which allegedly caused the accident and left the scene and we are told that the car and driver, a Sacramento man, were recovered with the help of Contra Costa County Sheriff’s deputies later in the evening. Interstate 80 was closed westbound until about 3:30 a.m. Sunday morning as the wreckage was cleared and investigation into the crash commenced.

Fred Lowe, 47, of Sacramento was arrested on suspicion of felony vehicular manslaughter, felony hit-and-run and felony DUI, with investigators alleging Lowe left the crash scene before he his blue Mercedes was spotted by Contra Costa County Sheriff’s deputies and stopped the car.

Police said Lowe is suspected of colliding with a white Nissan sedan, causing the Nissan to flip over and crash into three other vehicles traveling in the opposite direction.

All four passengers in the Nissan died at the scene. The driver was hospitalized.

It was a bad start to the evening and as we pushed toward midnight things heated up with reports of power-drinking, hard-partying, and moon-beaming – with older folks possibly stimulated by the scents and sounds of the Holiday up and moving around, often to the surprise of those who opened their doors to them at 3:30 a.m. NEWS24/680 gives a big thumbs up to the residents and police personnel who took extra steps to make sure some of our more senior wanderers made it back where they belong – though we couldn’t help but think they may have been investigating addresses familiar to them somewhere in their pasts.

Thanksgiving will do that.

We thought we’d made it through the night until our email box and iPhones started humming with inquiries about a red mini-van taking evasive action from pursuing police – driving the wrong way up southbound I680 from Alamo into downtown Walnut Creek, where deputies lost the van and two men aboard on city streets. Alert Walnut Creek police officers “reacquired” the van behind a car dealership near N. California Blvd. and Ygnacio Valley minutes later.

We’re not sure why police were after the van because police didn’t see fit to call us and fill us in on everything they were up to overnight, but we’re reaching out and hope to put all the pieces together.

Throw in a bolting horse (how “semi-rural” as our TweetBud Mr. Steven B. Falk posted afterward), some teen drama, and lots of evidence that some pharmaceutical companies are having little problem finding customers these days and it turned into a busy night. Our coffee maker got a work out and Adam (the guy pushing those Flash Alerts waking you up at 1 a.m.) has a bad case of writer’s cramp.

How was it for you?


  1. Unfortunately this doesn’t surprise me. Yesterday after driving several of the Bay Area freeways, I came home and commented on how violently & aggressive people were driving. ie:80 miles an hour cutting in and out of traffic…etc. I felt that there were a lot of unhinged people out there. I’m glad more people weren’t hurt or killed.

    • @Greg – Getting that all the time now, Greg, sorry to say. We’re frankly amazed more people aren’t hurt or killed out there.

Leave a Reply