Newport Beach: Wrong-Way Driver Causes Fatal Crash

06.05.2019 | 8:56 AM | NEWPORT BEACH – A wrong-way driver traveling at high-speeds caused a fatal wreck, Wednesday morning.

Authorities responded to reports of a wrong-way driver traveling southbound in the northbound lanes of the SR-73 just south of Birch Street around 8:56 AM.

While responding units received reports that the wrong-way driver had collided head-on with an oncoming vehicle.

Units arriving on scene located the three-vehicle crash and determined the occupant of one vehicle, later identified as 64-year-old Arda Gulesserian (Melikyan) of Corona del Mar, had succumbed to her injuries.

The driver of the wrong-way vehicle, identified as 23-year-old Luke Fitch of Newport Beach, suffered serious injuries and was transported to an area hospital for treatment.

The driver and passenger of a third involved vehicle escaped injury.

Initial reports indicate Fitch was traveling wrong-way on city streets before entering the northbound SR-73 going southbound at speeds in excess of 100 MPH in Mercedes-Benz wagon.

Several vehicles reportedly swerved to avoid the wrong-way vehicle before it collided with a white BMW sedan driven by Gulesserian and then struck a second white Lexus sedan.

Authorities were still investigating whether Fitch acted intentionally or was under the influence of an intoxicating substance.

No arrests were made pending further investigation.

Miles Madison

Miles started reporting breaking news in 2015 and has been providing high-quality news video and timely reports from the Orange County area ever since. Combining his experience as a seasoned photojournalist, radio operator and sleuth, Miles provides unrivaled multimedia news reports.