The crashes left the northbound freeway closed for hours near the Osborne Street exit. All lanes except one reopened around 1:20 p.m.
The first collision was reported at 4:23 a.m. near Osborne, according to the California Highway Patrol.
A female pedestrian was reported struck on the freeway. It remains unclear why she was on the road.
She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Shortly after that, two other people were struck by vehicles in the same area. CHP investigators believe the two people had stopped and were possibly trying to assist the struck pedestrian when they were hit.
Arleta: NB I-5 before Osborne St ALL LANES BLOCKED due to vehicle that hit pedestrian resulting in 1 confirmed fatality. Duration unknown. Coroner on scene. Caltrans on scene. #TrafficAlert #fatality https://t.co/xbyTKqK844 pic.twitter.com/ycSwywW85r— Caltrans District 7 (@CaltransDist7) July 6, 2019
Both of them were transported to a local hospital where at least one underwent surgery. An update on their condition was not immediately available.
CHP investigators were trying to determine if the first vehicle that hit the pedestrian fled the scene. Farther up the freeway, officers were talking to a driver who believed his or her vehicle had struck an animal on the road. The officers were trying to determine if it was the same vehicle that struck the pedestrian.
The vehicle that struck the other two people remained at the scene.