Driver ejected, killed after truck veers off freeway in Foothill Ranch; 2 pedestrians hospitalized

FOOTHILL RANCH, Calif. (KABC) -- A driver was killed and two pedestrians were injured Sunday evening in Foothill Ranch when a pickup truck veered off a highway and went airborne in a crash, authorities said.

Firefighters and officers responded shortly before 10 a.m. to a report of a pedestrian struck by a vehicle on the 241 Freeway just north of Bake Parkway, according to the California Highway Patrol. The incident was initially described as a hit-and-run crash in which the vehicle hit a tree and sheared a fire hydrant.

Although preliminary details from the highway patrol indicated the driver was detained after fleeing on foot, a CHP investigation subsequently revealed the 28-year-old motorist was ejected in the crash and died at the scene. He was identified as John Weathers of Lake Forest, the agency said.

The 2003 Toyota Tundra was heading eastbound on the 241 Freeway when it slid down an embankment, struck two pedestrians and landed on several parked vehicles, the highway patrol said.

The two injured persons suffered major injuries and were transported to a hospital, according to authorities.

A toppled fire hydrant was seen in a parking lot at the location as investigators collected evidence and examined the pickup.

The cause of the collision was not immediately known.

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