By Martin Henderson
The 21-year-old victim of a fatal single-car crash on the California 241 toll road in Irvine has been identified.
Cole Smith of Foothill Ranch was named early Tuesday by the Orange County Coroner as the person ejected from the SUV he was driving after it drifted off the road and rolled over.
According to the California Highway Patrol, the accident on the Foothill Transportation Corridor at Portola Parkway was reported at 12:52 a.m. Officer Todd Kovaletz of the CHP said the incident took place in Irvine, closer to the 133 connector, not Saddleback Church.
Authorities said Smith was driving southbound when his 1993 Nissan Pathfinder veered into the center median, which is nothing more than dirt separating the opposite directions of traffic. The SUV began to roll over and Smith was ejected from the vehicle, ultimately landing in the No. 2 and 3 lanes of the northbound 241.
The speed limit is 65 mph through that section of highway.
Kovaletz said it did not appear Smith, who died at the scene, was run over by oncoming traffic.
It was also unclear whether drugs or alcohol played a role in the crash, and investigators would need to wait for a toxicology report.
Smith died within minutes of the accident, if not immediately, according to the coroner, who listed the time of death as 12:57 a.m., five minutes after the incident occurred.
All lanes of the toll road in both directions were shut down for the CHP investigation until about 4 a.m., when all but the No. 1 lane on the southbound side were reopened.
The CHP is asking for any witnesses to contact the agency at 714-567-6000.
TELL US IN THE COMMENTS: What are your memories of 21-year-old Cole Smith of Foothill Ranch?