Driver Critically Injured After Car Flies Off 405 Freeway

A car that careened off the 405 Freeway following heavy rains is seen as authorities respond to investigate on Dec. 6, 2018. (Credit: KTLA)

A car that careened off the 405 Freeway following heavy rains is seen as authorities respond to investigate on Dec. 6, 2018. (Credit: KTLA)

A motorist was critically injured after losing control of their vehicle and driving off the side of a rain-slicked 405 Freeway in Palms Thursday night, officials said.

A dark, two-door coupe was driving on the freeway when it crashed into a guardrail on the right-hand shoulder and wound up going over the embankment there shortly before 8:45 p.m., according to California Highway Patrol Officer Franco Pepi.

Although CHP’s incident log stated the vehicle landed in a Ralph’s parking lot, footage from the scene showed it was actually wound up along the off-ramp at National Boulevard, near — but not in — Ross parking lot at 3033 S. Sepulveda Blvd.

The driver had apparently lost control on a transition road, the agency said.

Fire crews had to extricate the motorist from their vehicle. The person was taken to a nearby trauma center in critical condition, the Los Angeles Fire Department said in an alert.

The driver was later listed “in minor condition” at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Westwood, according to Pepi.

There was no information on the driver’s age or gender.

There was a passenger in the car, but that person “walked away with some scratches as far as we know,” Pepi said.

Authorities are now interviewing witnesses and investigating the cause and circumstances of the crash.

“As of right now, we have no reports of anything prior to this collision — of any speed-racing or DUI broadcasts,” Pepi told KTLA. “At this time, the investigating officers are undetermined if there is a possibility of DUI being involved.”

A storm that moved through Southern California Thursday created widespread traffic woes, with numerous roadways closed due to flooding, debris flows or snow.

In Culver City, a total of 1.63 inches of rain were recorded, according to the National Weather Service.