Wrong way Richmond driver in fatal Hwy 4 crash released from custody to U.S Marshals

Richmond suspect driving with suspended license for prior DUI

By CHP Contra Costa

Tuesday morning Dec. 13, 2022, at about 11:05am, CHP Contra Costa was advised of a wrong way driver traveling westbound in the eastbound lanes of Hwy 4 near Railroad Avenue. The wrong way vehicle (Dodge Durango) continued westbound in the eastbound lanes and collided head on into a Honda Accord traveling in the eastbound lanes of Hwy 4. Following the initial crash, the Honda was struck by a Toyota Highlander and was struck a third time by a three-axel tanker truck that were also traveling eastbound. All involved vehicles sustained major damage and came to rest within the eastbound lanes.

Following the crash, the driver of the Dodge fled the scene on foot but was apprehended by Pittsburg Police Department that came upon the scene shortly after.

The Honda was occupied by one adult driver and one adult passenger. The driver sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased on scene and the passenger was transported to the hospital for major injuries. The Toyota was occupied by one adult driver and one infant passenger. Both occupants were transported to the hospital for complaint of pain injuries. The tanker truck was occupied by an adult driver who was uninjured.

According to a Mercury News report, the Contra Costa Coroner’s Office identified the victim as James Kuang age 50. Attempts to reach the Coroner’s Office to determine the victim’s city of residency were unsuccessful Friday.

CHP Contra Costa PIO Adam Lane said Friday that the wrong way driver is Michael Armstrong age 53 of Richmond was booked on charges of murder, DUI resulting in injury, driving the wrong way resulting in injury or death and driving with a suspended license for a prior DUI.

According to Contra Costa DA’s Office PIO Ted Asregadoo, “the suspect was released from custody from the Martinez Detention Facility on Thursday by the U.S. Marshals because of a federal matter. So, CHP will not be bringing the case to the DA’s office for filing charges, today.”

At this time, it is believed drugs and/or alcohol impairment may have been a factor in this crash. This incident is still under investigation. If anyone witnessed this crash, the wrong way vehicle prior to the crash, or the events leading up to the crash, please contact CHP Contra Costa in Martinez at (925) 646-4980. Thank you.

Please check back later for any updates to this report.

Allen D. Payton contributed to this report.

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