Investigators shut down a Southern California freeway early Thursday to investigate the discovery of the body of a woman who either fell, jumped or was pushed from a car and died after being struck by another vehicle.
All eastbound lanes of the Foothill (210) Freeway in Sylmar were shut for hours as detectives conducted a homicide investigation after the 1 a.m. crash, officials said. The road reopened at about 9:30 a.m.
Police said a witness saw a red car swerving east on the 210 near the Hubbard Street bridge in Sylmar.
After the car nearly slammed into the center divider, the passenger door flung open and a woman fell out, said Lt. Paul Vernon, of the Los Angeles Police Department.
Local news from across Southern California
"The question of the day is, why did she come out of the car?" Vernon said. "Was she pushed, shot, stabbed ... Did she jump? We don't know," Vernon said. "Because the car didn't stop, the homicide investigation team is handling."
The body was that of a white woman in her 30s with a quarter-sized tattoo on her neck. The tattoo appeared to be a symbol with foreign writing, Vernon said.
She was alive when she came out of the vehicle, police said without elaboration, adding that the driver of the first car that hit her stopped but other drivers may have been unaware that they had struck a body.
One witness said he tried to wave oncoming traffic away from the downed woman, but to no avail.
A passenger in that vehicle said she saw the woman just before impact. The driver stopped and is not part of the homicide investigation.
"I really wasn't sure what happened," said the passenger, who refused to be identified. "I just have that image of the girl in my head."
Traffic Updates: Map
More Southern California Stories: