CHP search for driver who fled from multivehicle crash on 405 Freeway on foot

CHP officers are investigating a felony hit-and-run crash that took place Monday morning on the 405 Freeway in Costa Mesa.
CHP officers investigating a felony hit-and-run crash that took place Monday morning on the 405 Freeway in Costa Mesa hope the impounded car may contain clues about its driver.
(File Photo)

California Highway Patrol officials are searching for a driver who reportedly hit multiple cars on the 405 Freeway in Costa Mesa Monday morning and then took off on foot before officers arrived on scene.

Officer Anselmo Templado said the incident occurred shortly before 7:45 a.m. when CHP’s Santa Ana station received reports of a multivehicle crash on southbound lanes of the 405, just north of the 55 Freeway.

Investigating officers believe the man, who was driving a Toyota Camry Solara, may have been traveling in the No. 1 lane behind several other vehicles when traffic in front of him abruptly stopped.

“The vehicle … was unable to stop, and it appears to have swerved into the HOV lane,” Templado said Monday. “[It] swerved into a Tesla that was in the HOV lane. Then, the Solara went back into the No 1 lane and ended up hitting the two vehicles in front of it.”

While the occupants of those two vehicles, described as a Toyota Tacoma and a Ford F150, did not report any injuries, the driver of the Tesla sustained minor injuries and was transported to Hoag Hospital, Templado confirmed.

Immediately after the collision occurred, the driver of the Solara exited the vehicle and took off on foot along the 405 Freeway, heading north. By the time officers arrived on scene he could not be located.

Three southbound lanes of the 405 were closed for about 30 minutes, as officers arranged to have the Solara towed to a secure location.

While the identity of the vehicle’s registered owner has been determined, officers are still investigating whether the man driving the car may have owned the vehicle, known the owner or could possibly have stolen it, Templado said Monday.

The driver, whom Templado said was described as a Latino adult male likely in his early 30s, about 5 feet 7 inches and wearing a yellow, long-sleeve shirt with a red letter “S” on the back at the time of the incident, faces felony hit-and-run charges, he said.

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