A woman waiting for help in her disabled car in the middle of the westbound Riverside Freeway in Yorba Linda was killed Monday when the car was struck by a pickup truck and burst into flames, authorities said.
The woman, whose identity was not released, died at the scene.
She was talking to her parents on her cell phone when the crash took place shortly before 7:30 a.m. Her car was stuck in traffic lanes with a flat tire near Gypsum Canyon Road, a California Highway Patrol dispatcher said.
Another driver had stopped on the side of the freeway and planned to help the woman move her car to the shoulder. But a Toyota pickup truck traveling about 60 mph plowed into the woman's car because the driver was paying attention to the person on the side of the road, the CHP said.
The woman's car caught fire and slammed into the right sound wall. No one has been cited, and an investigation was continuing. The pickup driver's condition was not available, but the CHP said he tried to pull the woman from her car.
A CHP spokeswoman said drivers who get a flat tire should always try to drive off the freeway. Even with a flat, most cars can still be driven out of danger, she said.