The crash involving a blue Subaru Forester was reported near Bristol Street and MacArthur Boulevard at about 8:30 a.m., according to the Orange County Fire Authority.
Authorities said the driver was traveling with friends in his car at high speeds when the SUV jumped the curb, slammed into a light pole, overturned and landed more than 100 feet away.
Officials said a 23-year-old male passenger died as a result of the crash. A 20-year-old woman was on life support with life-threatening injuries, and a 22-year-old man was in stable condition, according to Santa Ana police.
The driver was transported to a nearby hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Santa Ana police later identified the driver as Ryan Anthony Morris, 26, of Santa Ana. He was booked on vehicular manslaughter and DUI causing great bodily injury and/or death.
The deceased man was identified as Shane Spear, 23, of Santa Ana.
Joshua Vasquez works nearby and said one of his customers told him the Subaru zipped right by her before crashing.
"My mechanic, he actually went out with me, spoke to the gentlemen. They kind of nodded their heads like, 'Hey, we're OK,' and so we were there just waiting, firefighters came," he said.
Cpl. Anthony Bertagna of Santa Ana PD said an officer across the street from the incident was taking another collision report when he heard the crash and ran over to the scene.
"Based on the signs and symptoms he observed there and at the hospital, (the driver has) been placed under arrest," Bertagna added.
Police said two of the people in the car were from out of state.
Meantime, witnesses were shocked to hear the driver had friends in his speeding vehicle.
"That's sad. How could you be drinking behind the wheel when you have friends and everything?" said witness Ruben Martinez.
The crash remained under investigation.