A 22-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence following a series of crashes that killed a Chula Vista woman and injured nine people on the 5 Freeway in Irvine early Thursday, authorities said.
The first crash was reported about 1:30 a.m. when a suspected DUI driver in a Dodge Challenger traveling south on the freeway near Alton Parkway crashed into a Toyota Prius, California Highway Patrol Officer Florentino Olivera said.
Olivera said the Dodge was “traveling at a high rate of speed.” The man taken into custody is a resident of Nevada, but his name was not immediately available.
About 10 minutes later, a second crash occurred involving a Mitsubishi Eclipse. When the car stopped, a 24-year-old woman inside the vehicle unlatched her seat belt to check on her 6-month-old son in the back seat. Moments later, another vehicle struck the Mitsubishi and the woman was killed, Olivera said. The boy was taken to a trauma center.
A total of nine cars were involved in the chain-reaction crash, Olivera said.
Eight people, including the 6-month-old as well as a 10-year-old boy and an 11-year-old boy, were taken to trauma centers. A ninth person was taken to a hospital with minor injuries, Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Tony Bommarito said.
The southbound lanes reopened at noon, according to CHP.
1:25 p.m.: This article was updated with information about the freeway reopening.
7:25 a.m.: This article was updated with additional details.
This article was originally published at 5:35 a.m.