Originally posted at 7:08 a.m. April 24, 2014. Edited with new details.
A man and a woman were killed today and five other people were injured in a multi-vehicle series of crashes on the Santa Ana (5) Freeway in the Irvine area, authorities said.
All northbound lanes of the freeway near the Jamboree Road onramp were shut down after the crash, which occurred about 4:40 a.m., the California Highway Patrol reported. Two lanes were reopened within a couple of hours.
Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Steve Concialdi said seven people were injured, two of whom died at the scene.
The fatally injured people were a woman in her mid-40s, who was driving a car; and a man in his early 50s, who was a passenger in the same car, Concialdi said. Authorities withheld their names, pending notification of their relatives.
Of the survivors, three were transported for hospital treatment of "moderate" injuries, one was transported for treatment of minor injuries, and one was treated at the scene, Concialdi said.
The series of crashes began with a red Mitsubishi slamming into a center divider on the northbound Santa Ana (5) Freeway just south of the Yale overcrossing, California Highway Patrol Officer Florentino Olivera said.
A driver in a silver Acura stopped to help the person in the Mitsubishi, Olivera said. Soon afterward, a Toyota Camry in the carpool lane crashed into both vehicles, he said.
The crash sent the Toyota veering to the right, where it slammed into a Nissan Altima, Olivera said. The collision sent the Nissan into the right shoulder and the Toyota veered back left to the fast lane where it was broadsided by a blue Chevy Astrovan, Olivera said.
The Toyota driver and passenger were killed in the collisions, Olivera said.
--City News Service