1 dead, driver’s legs severed in crash near Irvine Lake

One person has died and a driver’s legs were severed when their car hit a tree off Santiago Canyon Road near Irvine Lake early Sunday, authorities said.

The Orange County Coroner’s Office posted on its website that one of the passengers died in the accident, Jorge Cisneros of Tustin. He turned 18 three days before the crash. The condition of the remaining five people who were in the car is not known.

The vehicle split in two and the front half of it wrapped around the tree, Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Marc Stone said. The driver was also wrapped around the tree with the wreckage, and it took more than an hour to remove him from the vehicle with special equipment, Stone said.

All six of the people who were in the vehicle were taken to local hospitals as trauma victims. Three of the passengers were tossed more than 50 feet from the vehicle down an embankment toward Irvine Lake, Stone said. The lake and accident site are in unincorporated Orange County just east of Cowan Heights.

The passengers and the driver were young men, Stone said. The accident happened around 1:45 a.m. Sunday. OCFA and Orange firefighters responded. Paramedics transported two victims each to Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo, UCI Medical Center in Orange and Western Medical Center in Santa Ana.

California Highway Patrol is investigating the cause of the accident and declined to comment on the case.

More to come.

Reporter Sonya Quick contributed to this report.

Contact the writer: bmartinez@ocregister.com