A section of the 101 Freeway in Encino was closed for more than five hours Monday morning after an Uber passenger who got out of a vehicle and ran across the freeway was struck and killed by a California Highway Patrol cruiser, authorities said.
Authorities received a disturbance call about 3:30 a.m. from an Uber driver who stated his passengers were arguing and fighting inside his vehicle as he was driving on the westbound side of the freeway near Balboa Boulevard, according to the CHP.
The unidentified Uber driver told KABC he stopped the car when his passengers started punching each other. Without his knowledge, one of his passengers got out of the car, he said.
As CHP officers responding to the incident conducted a traffic break on the westbound side of the freeway, another CHP vehicle was traveling on the eastbound lanes toward the scene to assist. That vehicle struck the passenger after he jumped the center divider and began running in the eastbound lanes.
Authorities have not released the passenger’s name. It is not clear what prompted the altercation inside the Uber.
Cars were being directed off the freeway at White Oak Avenue for hours as authorities investigated the crash. Video from the scene showed traffic backing up for miles during morning rush hour.
The freeway reopened about 9:30 a.m.