A suspected drunken driver was arrested after a chain-reaction crash in Irvine left a young mother dead, injured nine others and tied up traffic on the 5 Freeway for hours Thursday, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Irving Abel Aguilar-Calixto, 22, of Las Vegas was driving a gray Dodge Challenger on the southbound 5 Freeway just north of the 405 Freeway around 1:30 a.m. when he "was involved in a two vehicle DUI collision," the CHP arrest report said.
Based on the skid marks at the scene, investigators believe the Dodge was traveling well above 100 mph when it hit the other car, a Toyota Prius, according to CHP Officer Florentino Olivera.
A tow truck driver who responded to the incident attempted to flag down oncoming traffic, so they could avoid the wrecked vehicles, Oliver said.
But 10 minutes later, with the Dodge blocking lanes of traffic, a second crash occurred in the same area, according to CHP.
The initial collision led to a chain reaction of crashes that involved a total of 10 vehicles, and left a 24-year-old woman dead, Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Bommarito said.
Her vehicle, a Mitsubishi Eclipse, collided with a car that managed to avoid another crash and came to a stop near the Challenger, according to CHP.
The young mother was wearing her seat belt at the time and survived that crash, but investigators believe she took it off in an effort to remove her infant son from his car seat, the arrest report stated.
When the woman's seat belt was unbuckled, a Chevrolet Lumina van slammed into her Eclipse, according to the report. Inside the Eclipse, crews found a 6-month-old child, still properly strapped into his car seat. The injured baby taken to the hospital, but he is expected to survive, Olivera said.
Authorities have not identified the mother yet.
In addition to the infant, seven others, including a 10-year-old and an 11-year-old, were transported as trauma patients, Bommarito said.
Another individual was hospitalized with minor injuries, the fire captain added.
The suspected DUI driver was among those hospitalized following the crash, and Olivera believed he was "cooperative" with the investigation.
Aguilar-Calixto was arrested on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, DUI, and DUI causing bodily injury shortly after 4 a.m., according to the report. He was booked early in the afternoon.
The southbound 5 Freeway was closed for about eight hours as officials investigated the crashes and cleaned up the nine-car wreck.
KTLA's Anthony Kurzweil contributed to this story.