This morning, a California Highway Patrol car struck a presumed dead body that had been flung into northbound highway traffic in San Mateo from a collision reported minutes earlier, a CHP spokesman said.
The deceased and another person had apparently been standing on southbound U.S. Highway 101 around Poplar Avenue at about 2:55 a.m. when a black limousine hit them, CHP spokesman Art Montiel said.
The force of the impact sent the bodies flying into the northbound lanes of the highway, Montiel said.
"We don't know if the impact from southbound lanes to the northbound lanes actually killed them," he said. "But we presumed they were both deceased by the time other vehicles traveling northbound were hitting them."
Along with the CHP officer, multiple drivers who were unaware of the incident had struck the bodies with their vehicles, officials said.
"We think they were already dead after we looked at the distance from where they were originally hit to where they landed," CHP Sgt. Trent Cross said.
Cross could not provide the distance the victims flew, but he said the entire scene made up about 3,000 feet.
Stacy White, 39, apparently parked a red Saturn facing the wrong direction in one the left southbound lanes of the highway early this morning, Montiel said.
Officers believe White, from San Mateo, then exited the car, and Steve Pereira, 26, had stopped and exited his vehicle to see if White was alright.
The two were then struck by a black limousine traveling southbound, which sent them flying across the highway into northbound traffic. They were pronounced dead on the scene at 3:06 a.m., according to the San Mateo County coroner's office.
The officer that hit one of the victims had been responding to reports of a crash that matched the description of White's car, which had been reported at about 2:51 a.m. as driving the wrong direction on the highway, Montiel said.
A Sig-alert was issued at 3:09 a.m., and only one lane of southbound traffic and one of northbound remained open while officials investigated the scene.
Remaining lanes of the highway stayed closed until 6 p.m. this evening, Montiel said.
Officers believe White may have been driving under the influence of alcohol due to the smell of the Saturn, Montiel said.