The driver of a minivan was hospitalized in critical condition Saturday after driving off the San Joaquin Hills Toll Road (73) in Irvine and hitting a sign, eventually catching fire, which burned an acre of vegetation.
The vehicle reportedly went over the embankment just after 4:50 p.m., according to the California Highway Patrol.
Witnesses told the CHP the male driver was pulled from the smoking vehicle before it became engulfed in flames and that he appeared to have a broken leg.
The Orange County Fire Authority was summoned to the scene to treat the injured driver, and firefighters held the flames to one acre, OCFA officials said.
The driver’s condition was critical, they said. No other injuries were reported.
The northbound 73 was shut down and vehicles were diverted onto Laguna Canyon Road (133).