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Orange County

Driver Hurt in Crash on Ortega Highway

Accident: He is cut from his car. Multiple collision ties up traffic for about an hour.

April 02, 2002|DAVID HALDANE | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Rescuers freed a motorist from his car Monday after it struck a big-rig truck and a pickup truck and sent the pickup into a ravine off Ortega Highway just east of San Juan Capistrano, authorities said.

The 36-year-old man, whose name was not released immediately, was westbound in a Nissan Sentra when the noontime accident occurred 3.5 miles outside the city limits, said Sgt. Greg Saulman, a spokesman for the California Highway Patrol.

Traffic on the two-lane highway was tied up for about an hour.

Saulman said the Nissan drifted three feet over the center line and struck the truck's left front bumper. The impact spun the car, and it struck a pickup truck traveling behind the big rig, sending it into a ravine, he said.

The Nissan's driver suffered a broken leg, facial lacerations and chest contusions and was freed with the Jaws of Life, Saulman said. He was airlifted to Mission Hospital Regional Medical Center in Mission Viejo for treatment. His condition was not available Monday night.

There were no other injuries.

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