A Mission Viejo woman died Friday afternoon, less than 12 hours after a car in which she was riding slammed into a metal pole on the San Diego Freeway, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The driver, Darlene F. Mauro, 20, was in critical condition Friday night at Fountain Valley Regional Hospital with internal injuries. Teri L. Ellis, 21, died at 12:30 p.m., CHP Officer Paul Caldwell said.
Ellis, who suffered severe head injuries and a collapsed left lung, had been placed on a life-support system at Western Medical Center in Santa Ana, Caldwell said.
Mauro was southbound on the freeway near MacArthur Boulevard at 1 a.m. Friday, Caldwell said, when she lost control of her 1985 Thunderbird, which then veered across four lanes and struck the pole in the center divider.
The car overturned, and Mauro was thrown out the driver's door, which had opened on impact. Ellis was thrown into the rear seat on the passenger side. Neither woman was wearing a seat belt, Caldwell said.