Fatal PCH Crash Includes MV Driver, Trabuco Canyon Victims

An Irvine man dies and Trabuco Canyon residents among the six injured; a Mission Viejo driver apparently sets off four-car crash on Pacific Coast Highway in Laguna Beach.

Patch file photo
Patch file photo
An investigation was under way Monday into a four-car crash in Laguna Beach that claimed the life of one man, and left six others injured, police reported.

The deadly crash  occurred about 1:30 p.m. Sunday on North Coast Highway and Irvine Cove Drive. Erik Ortiz Valencia, 29, of Irvine was the passenger in a silver Honda S2000 that lost control and struck a truck, according to a report from the Orange County coroner's office. Valencia was pronounced dead at the scene.

Laguna Beach police Capt. Jason Kravetz said the driver of the Honda was a 27-year-old Mission Viejo resident.

"Because this is an active criminal investigation, the driver's name is not being released because he is a suspect and has not been arrested," Kravetz said. "Directions of travel and movements are still under investigation."

A Toyota 4Runner was the second car involved in the crash, according to police, and was driven by a 65-year-old Trabuco Canyon man. Although he had complained about pain, he was not transported to a hospital. His passengers, a 60-year-old Trabuco Canyon woman and an 84-year-old New York resident, were both transported to a hospital and later released.

A 24-year-old woman from San Juan Capistrano was driving a GMC Sierra which was also involved in the crash. She was taken to UCI Medical Center with abrasions and later released. The woman's 68-year-old passenger, also from San Juan Capistrano, was transported to Western Medical Center for fractured ribs and a partially collapsed lung. A second passenger, a 65-year-old San Juan Capistrano woman, suffered fractured ribs and was taken to UCI Medical Center. 

Police said a Toyota Camry was also involved in the crash, but did not release any information about the driver or passenger.

North Coast Highway was closed in both directions from about 1:34 p.m. until 11 p.m. Sunday.  

The driver of the S2000, which Kravetz said caused the fatal crash, suffered severe injuries, but was expected to survive. He was transported to Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo.   


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