Driver, Pedestrian Die in Separate Crashes

Times Staff Writer

A Huntington Beach driver and a pedestrian in Lake Forest were killed Wednesday in unrelated accidents.

Police said that Jayabeen Patel, 61, of Huntington Beach, died about 3:30 p.m. after backing her 1996 Ford Explorer out of her driveway near Orchid and Happy drives, striking a mailbox, losing control and ramming in quick succession into a wall, parked car and, finally, another house.

"Apparently her foot was on the throttle or something," said Lt. Bruce Kelly, a spokesman for the Huntington Beach Police Department.

"We suspect that the airbags deployed, then dissipated, and on the second impact the steering wheel got her. She had a crushed windpipe and chest trauma."

Patel was taken to the UCI Medical Center in Orange, where she died in the emergency room. The woman's 4-year-old grandson, riding in the back seat in a car seat, was not injured, Kelly said.

Three hours later, a man crossing El Toro Road near Northcrest Street in Lake Forest was struck and killed.

"We don't know if he was walking against the light or if [the driver] had a red light or what," said Lt. Hayward Miller, a spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

By late Wednesday, he said, the man had not been identified.

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