A multiple-vehicle collision that killed a woman started with a mattress that had fallen on the 55 Freeway in Santa Ana. According to the California Highway Patrol, the accident happened on Feb. 13 just before 12:00 a.m. in the northbound lanes.

A 53-year-old Costa Mesa woman was reportedly driving her 1982 Toyota Celica in the fast lane of the roadway when she struck the mattress. The force of the collision sent her car into the center divider. Following that initial collision, her vehicle landed sideways on the freeway. She was then struck by a 19-year-old Irvine man who was driving a van.

The second collision sent the Celica spinning across the lanes of traffic and into the path of an oncoming 1999 Toyota sedan, which subsequently struck the Celica from behind. The vehicle then reportedly spun around and came to a stop facing the wrong way, when it was hit by a 1995 Honda head on. The woman was pronounced dead at the accident scene. The 19-year-old was arrested after he reportedly drove his van approximately 500 feet north and then ran away on foot. Police took him into custody for suspicions of drunk driving. In addition to the woman who was killed, two others were injured and required transport to Western Medical Center for treatment. The accident resulted in the closure of the northbound lanes for multiple hours while police conducted their investigation and cleanup.

When a person dies in a motor vehicle accident as a result of the negligence of another, the family may want to consider filing a wrongful death civil lawsuit against the person who caused it. In situations like this, it is possible that multiple defendants could be named. If it is discovered that a road hazard was created due to a driver's failure to secure cargo to their vehicle, they may be deemed liable as well.

Source: ABC 7, "MATTRESS ON 55 FREEWAY IN SANTA ANA CAUSES FATAL 4-VEHICLE WRECK," Feb. 14, 2015