Young mother killed; baby among nine injured in multi-vehicle pileup on 5 Freeway in Irvine

A woman was killed and eight other people were hospitalized in a multi-vehicle crash on the 5 Freeway in Irvine early Thursday.

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.

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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.