Camp Pendleton

Ten people were injured--a 3-year-old girl critically--when a car was struck Thursday as it sat disabled in the divider strip of Interstate 5, authorities said.

Kathy Zapata of Pico Rivera was on a life-support system Thursday night at Children’s Hospital in San Diego, where she was flown by Life Flight helicopter for treatment of severe head injuries, hospital spokesman Mark Morelli said.

The accident occurred after the girl’s mother, Laura Zapata, experienced car trouble about 11 a.m. and stopped in the center median just south of Las Pulgas Road, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Zapata and a passenger crossed the freeway and were at an emergency call box talking with the CHP when they saw a Jeep drift onto the shoulder and strike the disabled car, a Honda. The impact knocked the three passengers still in the Zapata car--Kathy Zapata; Olivia Vasquez, age unknown, and Olivia Tobias, age unknown--onto the roadway, the CHP said.


A spokeswoman from Sharp Memorial Hospital said Vasquez was in serious condition Thursday night with head injuries. Scripps Memorial Hospital spokeswoman Lynn Morra said she could not release the name of victim taken there for treatment.

The driver of the Jeep, Sherri Hiskett, 24, of Tustin was flown to Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, where she was treated for injuries and released, according to the hospital.

Six other occupants of the Jeep were taken to Tri-City Medical Center in Oceanside for treatment of minor to moderate injuries. They were identified as Debra White, 24; Daniel White, 4, and Tiffany White, 2, all of Santa Ana, and Melinda Hiskett, 7; Malyssa Hiskett, 4, and James Hiskett, 2.

One traffic lane was closed for about 90 minutes, and traffic was backed up about 2 miles, the CHP said.