Driver hit and killed after leaving car in string of crashes on northbound 405 in Costa Mesa


A driver was struck and killed after getting out of her car amid a series of four traffic collisions Wednesday morning on the northbound 405 Freeway in Costa Mesa, authorities said.

The crashes caused four of six traffic lanes to be shut down for about five hours, starting just after 5 a.m.

The collisions began with a minor crash between two vehicles traveling north near Harbor Boulevard, according to the California Highway Patrol. The driver and passenger of one of the vehicles, a Toyota Corolla, got out while it was still in traffic lanes, the CHP said.


The driver of the Corolla was behind her vehicle when an Audi SUV struck her and her car, pushing the Corolla to the right and causing a collision with a Chevrolet Impala.

The Impala ended up on the Harbor Boulevard off-ramp, where it was hit by a Toyota Prius, the CHP said.

The driver who was struck, Altagracia Cruz Penaloza, 42, of Tustin, suffered fatal injuries, according to the CHP. Her 18-year-old daughter, a passenger in her vehicle, was uninjured.

Traffic backed up for more than two miles. All lanes were reopened by about 9:45 a.m.

KTLA contributed to this report.


This article was originally published at 7:10 a.m. and was later updated throughout.