A man changing a tire along the Costa Mesa Freeway was killed by a hit-and-run driver Wednesday morning, authorities said.
James Malone, 44, of Westminster was struck at 5:45 a.m. by a car traveling north on the freeway near Katella Avenue in Orange, California Highway Patrol Officer Jim McClelland said.
Malone was changing the left rear tire of his pickup truck, which he had parked on the freeway shoulder, when he was hit by a car traveling in the right lane, McClelland said.
Malone's wife was in the truck when her husband was hit. "She heard a 'thump noise' on the side of the truck, and thought he had hit the truck with his hand," McClelland said.
Malone's wife went to check on her husband, and an off-duty Irvine police officer driving by called paramedics after he saw Malone's body on the side of the road, McClelland said.
Paramedics declared Malone dead at the scene, he said.
The CHP is not releasing a description of the hit-and-run vehicle or the driver, McClelland said. Highway Patrol officers are waiting to contact the suspect before releasing a description, he said.