Two dead in four-car crash near Tacoma

TACOMA, Wash. — Two people were killed in a four-car collision on eastbound State Route 512. The crash occurred near Steele Street on Sunday night. 

Key developments: 

  • Two people killed, four injured
  • 37-year-old Robert Delacruz got onto 512's eastbound lanes, heading west
  • Witnesses say he hit four cars
  • He reportedly drove head-on into fifth car
  • Police investigating whether drugs or alcohol were involved
The crash was caused by Robert Delacruz, who was driving westbound in eastbound lanes, according to police.
Delacruz has been charged in the past with three DUIs. The first was deferred prosecution; the second was pleaded down to driving with a suspended license.
The most recent was in September; he was found guilty in December. 
Friends say Delacruz served in the military and suffered from PTSD after service in Iraq. They told KIRO 7 he has had trouble with marijuana and alcohol, but they thought he was doing better.
State patrol officials are looking into whether or not Delacruz was impaired at the time of the crash. They're waiting for the medical examiner's report and will also be checking with the alcohol monitoring company to see if the bracelet he was wearing measured alcohol in his system.
According to authorities, Delacruz took a wrong turn on Pack Avenue headed northbound. The driver continued on to drive westbound down the eastbound exit ramp. 
The driver of another car spotted the wrong-way driver and blocked the roadway with their car, yelling at him to turn around. 
Delacruz reportedly ignored that driver, authorities say, striking the car and plowing through onto the freeway.
He then hit a second car, driving on into a pick-up truck.

Delacruz then spun around and hit another car before he was ejected. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

One person from the fourth car hit was transported to the hospital with life-threatening injuries; another died. 

The fourth car was carrying 6-year-old Bailey Berry. She is left in critical condition.

Bailey was belted in the back seat when Delacruz, going the wrong way on 512, slammed into the car she was in. Her mother wasn't in the car; Bailey's mom's friend, Ashley Blumenshine, was driving. 

Blumenshine is in critical condition at St. Joseph's Hospital. Jon Vivar, 35, was in the passenger seat of the car. He died in the crash.
One of the cars caught fire amid the chaos. The roadway was closed for a few hours Sunday evening while crews cleaned up. It reopened around 8:30 p.m.
One lane remained open on westbound SR 512 at Pacific Avenue during the clean-up effort.