All lanes of the northbound I-5 Freeway in Orange County were reopened late Thursday morning, hours after a multicar chain-reaction crash that left two people dead and four injured
That collision in the northbound lanes in Irvine was so violent that debris was scattered over a quarter of a mile and took hours to clear, authorities said.
The driver and passenger in a Toyota Camry were both pronounced dead at the scene of the 4:41 a.m. five-car accident.
The Orange County Coroner’s office later identified the driver as Sherry Butler, 46, and her passenger as Andrew Hays, 52. Both were from Rancho Santa Margarita.
Capt. Steve Concialdi, spokesman for the Orange County Fire Authority, said firefighters had to peel off the roof of the Toyota to extricate the bodies.
The injured were described as a 55-year-old Fontana man who had been driving a blue Chevy Astro, a 26-year-old San Diego woman driving a 2001 Mitsubishi, a 19-year-old Paramount woman driving a 2006 Acura, and a 46-year-old Aliso Viejo man driving a Nissan, Concialdi said.
All but the Aliso Viejo man, who refused treatment, were taken to Western Medical Center in Santa Ana with non-life-threatening injuries.
The crash brought northbound traffic to a halt during the morning rush hour and snarled the 405 Freeway as well as motorists sought a way around the crash. All lanes of the 5 were reopened around 11 a.m.