A 34-year-old man was killed and two other men were seriously injured in a head-on collision on the winding, two-lane Ortega Highway at 5:55 a.m. today, closing the commuter route in both directions for 1 1/2 hours.
California Highway Patrol spokesman Ken Daily said a westbound pickup truck smashed into an eastbound dump truck. Two other small trucks and a car were also involved in the accident. Investigators are still trying to determine who went on the wrong side of the road, Daily said.
Officials said the dead man was from Canyon Lakes, but would not release his name pending notification of relatives. The driver of the dump truck, Kenneth P. McClain, 31, of San Clemente was not injured.
Gerald L. Snyder, 49, of Mira Loma was in serious but stable condition with multiple rib fractures at Mission Hospital Regional Medical Center in Mission Viejo. Robert L. Dixon, 47, of Paris was at the same hospital in guarded condition with a possible skull fracture, a hospital spokeswoman said. The driver of the fifth vehicle, Larry A. Grove III, was treated for minor leg injuries at the scene and released, Daily said.