A 55-year-old man was critically injured Thursday when his 1937 Chevrolet broke down on the Costa Mesa Freeway and then was rear-ended as the man stood in front of it, the California Highway Patrol reported.
Sam Adams of Orange was driving north at about 11:50 a.m., north of the Corona del Mar Freeway, when his vintage car broke down in the third lane, according to the investigating officer, R. Betancourt. Adams got out, walked around to the front of the vehicle and was standing in front of it when another driver in the same lane, traveling 55 m.p.h., slammed into the stalled car, Betancourt said.
The second driver, Barbara Cox, 22, of Tustin, failed to see both the stalled car and Adams, the Highway Patrol said.
Cox then swerved into the second lane where she was hit by another vehicle, which was traveling at 55 m.p.h., Betancourt said.
Adams was airlifted by helicopter to Western Medical Center in Santa Ana. He was listed in critical condition Thursday night.
Cox sustained minor injuries and was taken to College Hospital in Costa Mesa, where she was treated and released. Her vehicle, a 1977 Ford van, had moderate damage.
The last driver, Martin Post, 72, of Balboa, was uninjured. His 1979 Buick received moderate damage.
Adams’ Chevrolet received major damage, the Highway Patrol said.
The accident closed all northbound lanes of the freeway for 15 to 20 minutes.