Passenger killed when suspected drunk driver hits Uber car in Costa Mesa

An Irvine woman died after a suspected drunk driver crashed into an Uber car that had picked her up early Tuesday.

An Irvine woman died after a driver suspected of being intoxicated slammed into the Uber car that picked her up at a Costa Mesa bar early Tuesday morning, police said.

Julia Gardner, 29, had just left The Huddle bar at 741 Baker St. with a 29-year-old Huntington Beach man around 1:35 a.m., authorities told the Daily Pilot.

The pair got into the back seat of a Ford Escape they’d hailed through the Uber ride-sharing service, and as the SUV crossed Baker Street, a BMW 540i smashed into its driver’s side, police said.

Paramedics took both of the Ford’s passengers to a trauma center in Santa Ana to be treated for their injuries.


Gardner later died from complications related to chest trauma, Costa Mesa police Lt. Greg Scott said.

She was seated on the side of the car that the BMW struck, Scott said.

The Uber driver, a 43-year-old Irvine resident, complained of chest pain and was taken to a local hospital, police said.

Costa Mesa police say they arrested the BMW’s driver on suspicion of felony DUI. He was identified as Porfirio Sandoval, a 19-year-old Costa Mesa resident.

Sandoval also complained of chest pain and was treated at Hoag Hospital before police booked him in Costa Mesa on $100,000 bail.

He was later transferred to Orange County Jail.

Police said they’re still investigating the crash and did not release any more details.

They asked anyone with information to contact Officer Crystal Cordero at (714) 754-5264.

Dobruck is a reporter for Times Community News.

For more Orange County News, follow @jeremiahdobruck.