Gomez was heading southbound on Fairview Street when he lost control of his 2007 Chevrolet Impala near MacArthur Boulevard around 7:40 p.m. The car hit a tree in a median, and the 15-year-old died almost instantly, said police.
"A preliminary investigation revealed that just prior to the accident Gomez was inhaling automotive-grade nitrous oxide while driving," Santa Ana police Cmdr. Steve Colon said.
According to authorities, Gomez was critically injured, and two other passengers were taken to hospitals.
City News Service contributed to this report.