Three people were injured, one critically, when a 17-year-old youth lost control of his car Saturday on Jeffrey Road near Irvine and crashed into an oncoming sedan carrying a woman and her son, authorities said.
Officials closed Jeffrey Road for 90 minutes between Irvine Boulevard and Trabuco Road as emergency crews removed the victims.
Eleanor Young, 46, of Irvine suffered severe head injuries and both of her legs were broken, according to Orange County Fire Capt. Dan Young, who helped supervise the removal of victims from the wreckage. She was listed in critical condition late Saturday at UCI Medical Center in Orange.
Her son, 12, whose name was withheld because of his age, sustained a broken arm but no other apparent injuries, Young said. The boy also was treated at UCI Medical Center.
The 17-year-old, whose name was not released, suffered facial cuts and a broken hip and legs and was flown to Mission Hospital Regional Medical Center in Mission Viejo.
Based on observations by Dan Young and comments from a spokeswoman for the California Highway Patrol, this is what happened:
At 12:48 p.m., the 17-year-old was traveling on Jeffrey Road, just north of Irvine Boulevard, a semi-rural stretch bordered by an orange grove. He drifted to his right, losing control of his 1983 Mazda. In an attempt to regain control, he over-corrected to the left, colliding head-on with the car carrying the mother and her son, who were traveling in a 1985 Volvo sedan.
Firefighter Young said Eleanor Young was removed after 10 minutes and taken to the hospital. Crews had to slice off the top of the Mazda and use the hydraulic "jaws of life" to free the 17-year-old, Young said.