The California Highway Patrol is reporting that around 1:21 am Sunday, they responded to a report of a vehicle crash blocking the roadway on SR-24 near I-680. The vehicle was fully engulfed in flames with the solo occupant trapped inside and could not get out.
Here is what CHP released Sunday:
Early this morning at about 1:21am, Contra Costa CHP was advised of a vehicle that was possibly involved in a collision and blocking the roadway on SR-24, just west of I-680. Prior to CHP arrival, another vehicle was reported to have collided into that vehicle blocking the roadway. Then upon CHP and emergency personnel arrival, the vehicle that was originally blocking the roadway (2003 orange Nissan Z sedan) was fully engulfed in flames with the solo occupant trapped inside. The vehicle that struck the Nissan, a blue 2018 Chevrolet Volt, was crashed into the center median with a solo male driver inside. Tragically the driver of Nissan was not able to escape and died within the burned vehicle. That driver remains unidentified and the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Coroners Office will be handling the release of identity of that driver. Please direct inquires to them.
In the initial investigation, it appears that the driver of the Nissan was traveling eastbound on SR-24 and was involved in a solo collision and was then blocking the lanes of eastbound traffic.
Then the driver of the Chevrolet, 68yr old Dennis Toshimi Tajiri of Concord, was traveling eastbound on SR-24 and collided into the Nissan. Tajiri’s Chevrolet came to a stop in the center divider and he remained in it until CHP arrival. Unfortunately the unidentified driver of the Nissan was unable to escape and the Nissan burst into flames and became fully engulfed. Tragically that driver died within the Nissan. Tajiri suffered only minor injuries and was transported to John Muir Hospital in Walnut Creek.
While there, CHP conducted a DUI investigation and he was subsequently placed under arrest for FELONY DUI. Upon his release from the hospital, Tajiri was booked into the Martinez Detention Facility for FELONY DUI and GROSS VEHICULAR MANSLAUGHTER.
This collision is still under investigation and if anyone witnessed it or the events leading up to it, please contact Contra Costa CHP in Martinez, (925) 646-4980. Thank you.