By Alex Groves

A Tustin woman was killed and a Winchester man was seriously injured in a two-vehicle crash that closed the eastbound side of Ortega Highway for several hours on Tuesday, July 17, a California Highway Patrol official said.

The crash was reported shortly before 5:30 a.m. on a portion of the highway just east of the Ortega Flats Campground and about 7 miles from Rancho Mission Viejo.

According to news release from CHP Officer Rafael Reynoso, 43-year-old Ma Maureen Mendoza was driving a 2016 BMW east at an undetermined rate of speed when for unknown reasons she veered into the opposite lane.

The BMW struck a a 2015 Chevrolet truck being driven by a 27-year-old Winchester man. The truck had been traveling at a speed of about 60 mph.

Mendoza was pronounced dead at the scene by the Orange County Fire Authority. The Winchester man was hospitalized with major injuries.

The eastbound side of the Ortega was closed for several hours as officers investigated.

Alcohol and drugs did not appear to be a factor in the crash, according to Reynoso.

The CHP’s San Juan Capistrano office is still investigating.


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