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Orange County

Freeway Ramp Accident Kills Boy, Woman; 2 Hurt

Crash: Car hits guardrail and becomes airborne. Cause is under investigation, officials say.

July 21, 2001|H.G. REZA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A woman and a 6-year-old boy were fatally injured Friday when a Honda SUV sports utility vehicle flew off a freeway ramp in Costa Mesa, ejecting the child into an embankment, authorities said.

Gregg Steward, battalion chief for the Costa Mesa Fire Department, said a young woman was trapped inside the vehicle and died at the scene.

The boy had stopped breathing when rescuers arrived and was pronounced dead at Fountain Valley Regional Hospital and Medical Center, Steward said.

Fire officials said two other women in the vehicle were injured. One was taken to UCI Medical Center in Orange with severe injuries to her chest and face, authorities said. The other was transported to Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley with lesser injuries. Identities and conditions weren't released late Friday.

Steward said the vehicle was northbound on the Corona del Mar Freeway when the driver lost control. Steward said it was not clear if the driver intended to merge to the northbound San Diego Freeway or exit to Fairview Road.

The car hit a guardrail, "became airborne, crossed over the offramp that is undergoing construction and came down on the other side of the road," Steward said. "It appears that the child was ejected."

Steward said it appeared the vehicle landed upside down on a concrete divider of the type commonly used to form a temporary freeway median.

"The vehicle appeared to have landed on top of one of the dividers and then rolled on its side. There was a large crease on the roof," he said.

Late Friday, a spokesman for the Orange County coroner's office said one of the women in the vehicle is believed to be the boy's mother, but authorities were not sure which one.

The accident was reported at 1:14 p.m. Its cause was undetermined hours later.

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