One man was killed and seven other motorists were injured early Wednesday when a speeding car crashed through the center divider on the Ventura Freeway in Glendale and collided with two oncoming cars, the California Highway Patrol reported.
The 12:25 a.m. accident, which caused four people to be ejected from one car, closed three eastbound lanes of the freeway east of the San Fernando Road exit for three hours.
CHP Officer Dean Gustafson said the accident occurred when a speeding Honda Prelude carrying five people went out of control and crashed into the center divider.
"It went right through it," Gustafson said. "It hit a steel post and cable and went under the fence."
The Honda then continued west in the eastbound lanes and struck a Hyundai and a Jaguar. Because it was early morning, traffic was sparse and only the two cars were hit, Gustafson said.
When the three cars collided, four people in the Honda were ejected. One of them, 19-year-old Sarkis Shirinyan of Hollywood, was killed. The other three who were thrown from the car and a fourth who was not were critically injured. They were identified as Arutyan Tagavityan, 19; George Petoyan, 19; Akop Oganyan, 18, and a 17-year-old youth whose name was not released. All are from Los Angeles.
The driver of the Hyundai, Fereydoun Daemi, 49, of Glendale, suffered moderate injuries and his wife, Heidi, 44, suffered minor injuries. The Jaguar's driver, Ellen Geiger, 37, of Pasadena, suffered minor injuries.
The injured motorists were being treated at four different hospitals in the area, the CHP said.
Gustafson said because four occupants were ejected from the Honda and those who survived were seriously injured, investigators have been unable to determine who was driving the car or why it went out of control.
"We are trying to piece it together," he said.