Woman dies after crashing into work truck on closed 405-S Freeway in Costa Mesa

A fatal collision on the 405 shortly before 1 a.m. Thursday caused a full closure of southbound lanes for several hours.
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A woman died in a collision on the 405 Freeway in Costa Mesa early Thursday morning, after her vehicle crashed into a work truck parked in southbound lanes during a routine freeway closure, according to a California Highway Patrol spokesman.

Officer Anselmo Templado said a call came into the Santa Ana station shortly before 1 a.m. from a Westminster CHP unit that had been monitoring a portion of the freeway, between Euclid Street and Harbor Boulevard. The segment was closed to accommodate construction from the I-405 Improvement Project.

The officer’s vehicle was facing northbound in the southbound HOV lane and had its lights activated, Templado reported. Nearby, a 2019 Dodge Ram 2500 work truck belonging to a project supervisor was parked near the Harbor Boulevard exit in the No. 6 lane with its hazard lights on.


“At some point, a 2000 Acura TL entered the closure from Euclid Street, driven by an unknown female,” he said Thursday. “She traveled in the No. 6 lane southbound at an unknown speed and collided into the rear of the Dodge 2500 pickup truck.”

Costa Mesa Fire & Rescue arrived on scene and, with assistance from the Fountain Valley Fire Department, provided medical treatment on scene before transporting both individuals to area hospitals, Battalion Chief Chris Coates confirmed Thursday.

The driver of the Acura was taken to UCLA Medical Center with life-threatening injuries but was pronounced dead at 1:57 a.m. The Orange County coroner’s office has identified the driver as Carmen Sanchez Rodriguez, 24, of Tustin.

Templado said the project supervisor was transported to Fountain Valley Regional Hospital & Medical Center, where he was treated for minor injuries. It is still unknown whether drugs or alcohol may have played a role in the collision.

All southbound lanes, from north of Euclid to Harbor, stayed closed until 5:39 a.m., at which point the HOV lane as well as the No. 1, 2 and 3 lanes were reopened. The remaining lanes were reopened to traffic by 8:33 a.m., according to a CHP incident log.


6:10 p.m. May 26, 2023: This story has been updated to include the identity of the driver killed, provided to a CHP spokesman by the county coroner’s office.