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Will Ferrell was playing Ron Burgundy at political event before car crash

Will Ferrell was playing Ron Burgundy at political event before car crash
Billy Eichner and Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) "Glam Up the Midterms" at the Oceanside High School Performing Arts Center. (Joe Scarnici / Getty Images for Funny or Die)

Actor Will Ferrell was recovering from minor injuries after being involved in an Orange County crash late Thursday after a get-out-the-vote event at Oceanside High School, authorities said.

He and comedian Billy Eichner were at the 500-seat high school auditorium in San Diego County on the first stop in the "Glam Up the Midterms" campaign, to encourage people to register and vote in the midterm elections on Nov. 6.

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"I'm getting a little peeved that people are relaxing and pronouncing it 'San Diego,' " Ferrell said onstage. "It's pronounced 'Sahn Di-Ah-go. Discovered by the Germans in 1904. They named it Sahn Di-Ah-go, which of course means a whale's vagina.' "

Fans of Ferrell's recognized the absurd comment from the 2004 movie "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy," a comedy about a fictional San Diego TV anchor in the 1970s, and many joined in to recite the lines with Ferrell.

While the event was billed as a nonpartisan effort to increase voter participation, the jokes and the audience response did seem left-leaning.

"You idiots let Darrell Issa represent Legoland?" Eichner said. "I didn't even care about District 49 at all until someone said, 'Billy, this election concerns the people of Legoland.' "

After leaving the event, Ferrell was involved in a crash on the 5 Freeway, north of La Paz Road in Mission Viejo, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The 50-year-old actor was one of four people in a 2017 Lincoln driving in the carpool lane, which is separated from regular traffic lanes by paint, not a physical barrier, according to a CHP news release.

A 2007 Toyota Highlander — driven by a 22-year-old from Fallbrook — also was headed north, two lanes over in the regular freeway lanes. The SUV veered left, crossed at least one lane and struck the Lincoln in the back corner on the passenger's side about 10:55 p.m. Thursday.

The impact forced the Lincoln into the center divider, and the vehicle then flipped.

A woman riding in the Lincoln suffered major injuries, according to the CHP. Ferrell, the driver and another man riding in the Lincoln suffered minor injuries. All four were transported to area hospitals.

The driver of the Toyota was not injured.

CHP Officer Rafael Reynoso said neither alcohol nor drugs played a role in the crash.

Figueroa and Warth write for the San Diego Union-Tribune.

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