Man survives Ortega Hwy crash, then killed by hit-run driver

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. (KABC) -- A 20-year-old man from Foothill Ranch survived a crash on Ortega Highway (74), only to be killed by a hit-and-run driver early Friday morning.

The Orange County Sheriff's Department received a call about a body along Ortega Highway just before 4:30 a.m. Authorities say the victim was traveling eastbound on Ortega Highway, east of Antonio Parkway, when he lost control of his blue Scion for an unknown reason. The car flipped over and rolled off the roadway.

He climbed out of the car and was walking westbound to get help when he was hit by another vehicle. That driver fled the scene.

The victim, identified as Elijah Alexander Ward, was hit about a half-mile from his car. He was pronounced dead at the scene by responding paramedics.

The suspect's vehicle was described as a white or cream 2010, 2011 or 2012 Subaru, possibly a Legacy, Impreza or Outback.

Eastbound SR-74 was closed at Gateway, and westbound SR-74 was closed at the O.C.-Riverside County line for several hours as investigators collected evidence, including pieces of the other car. Lanes were reopened by noon.

Anyone with information is urged to call the California Highway Patrol at (714) 240-3752.
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