USC Freshman Dies After Being Struck by 2 Vehicles on 110 Freeway 2 Days Before Start of Classes

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A University of Southern California student died after being struck by two vehicles on the 110 Freeway near downtown Los Angeles over the weekend, authorities said Monday.

Matthew Olson, 18, was walking in the southbound FasTrak lanes north of 37th Street just before 2:45 a.m. when he was struck by a Toyota C-HR, according to a California Highway Patrol incident report.

He was then hit by a second vehicle, which sped off without rendering aid to the victim, who was already down on the ground, CHP officials said.

The first driver did stop and help Olson before Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics arrived, according to the incident report.

Olson was pronounced dead at the scene.

It was not immediately known why he was walking on the freeway.

The Newport Beach teen died just two days before the start of classes at the university; move-in day was last Wednesday, according to the school’s academic calendar.

“It is with great sadness that we share that a USC student died in a tragic accident on the 110 Freeway,” the university said in a statement emailed to KTLA on Monday morning. “Our heartfelt condolences are with Matt’s parents, family and friends as they mourn this terrible loss.”

Olson was set to major in business at USC.

He was a graduate of Corona del Mar High School, where he was part of the volleyball team that won the national championship last year and was also a member of the basketball team.

“The Corona del Mar High School family is heartbroken at the passing of Matthew Olson. Matt was an incredible young man with the brightest of futures ahead; he was the consummate teammate, always looking out for the interests of his friends and teammates before his own,” Ryan Schachter, the high school’s basketball coach, wrote in a statement. “His legacy is much more than his incredible achievements in the classroom or in the athletic arena, he was a genuinely kind person and those who were fortunate to have known Matt, are much better for it.”

It was not immediately known why he was walking on the freeway, CHP said.

A description of the vehicle that fled the scene after hitting Olson has not been released.

KTLA’s Jennifer Thang contributed to this story. 

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