By Emily Rasmussen

A 77-year-old Murrieta woman has been identified as the fatality in a head-on collision that happened on Saturday, March 31 on Ortega Highway, just west of Cristianitos Road.

At approximately 8:22 p.m., a 38-year-old Lake Forest man driving a 2005 Mazda in the westbound lane of Ortega Highway veered left, causing the front of his vehicle to collide into the front of a 2016 Honda in the eastbound lane, which held two people in their 70s, according to a California Highway Patrol (CHP) press statement. All three people involved were transported to Mission Hospital, where Amparo Lopez was identified by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department’s Coroner Division as the person who was pronounced dead.

The driver of the Honda is a 74-year-old Murrieta man who was treated for major injuries. The Mazda driver, Edward Nani, was also treated for major injuries and was arrested.

Alcohol is considered as a factor in the collision, the CHP press statement said, but the type of arrest was not available in the CHP collision report.

This is a developing story.

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