In Southern California, most people don’t think in terms of distance when taking the freeway, but rather how much time it takes to get to where we’re going. Many who commute daily are often so used to freeway traffic slowing down to a crawl they might not even give it a second thought.
One recent accident on Wednesday, however, had traffic snarled on the 405 for hours. According to a story appearing on station KTLA 5 in Los Angeles’ website, this traffic snag involved a multiple vehicle crash that left one woman dead.
According to a statement issued by the California Highway patrol, Aldagracia Cruz-Penaloza, 42, of Tustin stopped her 2017 Toyota after a non-injury collision. The initial accident happened at 4:45 a.m. Cruz-Penaloza was in the Number 1 lane of the 405, while the other vehicle in the crash was pulled onto the shoulder of the freeway. Cruz-Penaloza and a passenger had gotten out of the car when a man driving an Audi struck both her and her stopped vehicle. The force of the impact sent the victim’s Toyota into the Number 3 lane of the 405 and into the path of an oncoming Chevrolet.
A sig alert was issued related to the crash.
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Cruz-Penaloza was pronounced dead at the scene as the result of her injuries. The driver of the third vehicle in the crash and the passenger suffered only minor injuries in the accident. The driver of the Audi was uninjured. He was later released by authorities and not charged. The CHP shut down the four left lanes of the 405 for several hours with traffic backed up for two miles. Authorities believe that the traffic snag also affected both the 55 and the 73.