Coroner's officials Saturday released the name of a 25- year-old mother who was killed in a chain-reaction crash on the 5 Freeway in Irvine that also injured nine other people, including three children.
The victim, a motorist in the pileup near the Alton Parkway exit, was identified as Maria Osuna of National City, according to the Orange County Coroner's Office.
Photo via Juan Osuna, victim's brother
A Nevada man, identified as 22-year-old Irving Aguilar-Calixto, suspected of being under the influence, was traveling at more than 100 mph at 1:30 a.m. Thursday in the southbound lanes of the freeway near the Alton Parkway exit, the California Highway Patrol said.
Aguilar-Calixto, accused of being behind the wheel of a souped-up Dodge Challenger, crashed into an Uber driver in a Prius. The driver was on the clock, but did not have any passengers traveling with him at the time.
As the wreckage from the Challenger blocked the middle lane, vehicles traveling in the darkness began swerving to avoid the debris. Ten minutes after the first crash, a second wreck occurred, igniting a chain-reaction crash involving seven other vehicles.
Firefighters found nine vehicles and multiple victims, which included children ages 11, 10 and six months, Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Tony Bommarito said.
The lead car in the second crash involved Osuna, who had her 6-month-old baby in the car with her, the CHP said. She died as a result of injuries in the crash, the CHP confirmed.
"What we believed happened from witnesses, is she undid her seat belt, she was reaching from the back to get her child and she was hit again," CHP Officer Florentino Olivera said. "And that's what caused her to sustain those injuries."
Her 6-month-old baby boy traveling with her was taken to a hospital, and was in critical condition.
"The baby was safe. He was belted in his car seat. Which we tell the public -- car seats save lives," Olivera said. "And everything was done right. He was in the car seat. And that's what saved his life."
Eight patients, including the three children, were taken to trauma centers, Bommarito said. A woman was transported to a hospital with minor injuries, he said. The six-month-old child was in the same vehicle as Osuna and the two other children were in a different vehicle, Bommarito said.
Aguilar-Calixto was arrested on suspicion of DUI.