A 17-year-old San Diego boy died early Thursday after the car he was riding in as a passenger was struck by a big rig after becoming disabled in a prior collision on the rain-slickened 405 Freeway in Costa Mesa, authorities said.
The crash took place about 2 a.m. on the southbound freeway near Harbor Boulevard, according to the California Highway Patrol. The crash involved a big rig and two other vehicles.
An 18-year-old man was driving a Fiat 500 when the car crashed into another car that was stalled on the freeway after being involved in a separate crash, the CHP said in a written statement.
"(The driver) was unable to stop in time and the front of the Fiat collided with the stalled vehicle," according to the statement.
The Fiat driver was thrown from the car by the impact, officials said. He suffered major injuries.
Despite also being seriously injured, another 18-year-old man who was riding as a passenger in the Fiat managed to get out of the car and walk to the right shoulder of the freeway, the CHP said. But two other passengers, an 18-year-old man and a 17-year-old boy, remained in the disabled car. The Fiat was facing the wrong direction and no longer had working headlights or tail lights.
A Freightliner big rig being driven by a 63-ear-old Menifee man then approached the crash scene.
"(The big rig driver) was unable to avoid the blacked-out Fiat that was stalled in the No. 5 lane, directly in front of him, and the front of the Freightliner collided with with the front of the Fiat," the statement said.
The 17-year-old passenger died from his injuries at the scene, officials said. The other passenger who was still in the Fiat when it was hit by the big rig was hospitalized with major injuries.
One vehicle caught fire following the multi-vehicle wreck, CHP logs show.
The crash is being investigated by the CHP's Santa Ana-area office. Anyone with information can reach the office at 714-567-6000.