Surveillance video shows a white Volvo making a left turn when a minivan tries to pass on the left and slams into the side of the car. Police say the minivan driver was an unlicensed 16-year-old on probation for tagging. They allege he had been drinking and speeding.
The van was going so fast that once it hit the car, both vehicles went up over the curb and didn't come to a stop for about half a block. The crash happened just before 12:30 a.m. Sunday near Main and Highland streets in Santa Ana. The 28-year-old innocent driver of the Volvo, Scott Lusk, later died in the hospital.
"We saw him about 10 minutes before the accident happened. His last words were, 'See you tomorrow, Mr. Schultz.' He was going to come over for dinner yesterday," said Lusk's friend, Bob Schultz.
Police say the teenage driver told officers he was being chased by gang members in a black truck right before the crash. The teen had three passengers with him. One suffered minor injuries.
"We're investigating what caused the accident before, during and after," said Cpl. Anthony Bertagna with the Santa Ana Police Department.
Investigators say the teenage driver was taken into custody but could not go to juvenile hall since the facility doesn't allow minors who've been drinking. At the time, he was facing only traffic infractions since Lusk was still alive.
"What we did at that point is what we call an out of custody petition and he's released to his parents," said Bertagna.
As Lusk's friends try to make sense of what happened, police say they are searching for more witnesses, including the driver of the black truck.
"This whole accident makes zero sense. He was the most careful driver out of everybody. If we went out drinking, he didn't drink," said Lusk's friend, Fran Diaz.
Anyone with information about the crash was asked to call Crime Stoppers at (855) TIP-OCCS.