A motorist who was killed after his vehicle was hit and caught fire on the Riverside (91) Freeway in Corona was stranded in the fast lane moments before the collision occurred, authorities said Thursday.

The crash happened about 10 p.m. Wednesday on the westbound 91, just west of Green River Road, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Officer Juan Quintero said that the victim, whose identity was not immediately released, was in the No. 1 lane when his Toyota Camry suddenly broke down, stalling before the driver could steer onto the shoulder.

The driver of a Toyota Highlander also traveling in the westbound fast lane was apparently unable to brake and maneuver around the sedan, and the SUV slammed into the rear of the car, “causing the Camry to catch on fire,” according to Quintero.

Corona Fire Department crews arrived within minutes and knocked down the blaze, but the driver of the Camry was pronounced dead at the scene.

Quintero said that the two occupants of the SUV were able to avoid the flames but suffered unspecified non-life-threatening injuries and were taken to a hospital for treatment.

The investigation is ongoing, and anyone with information was asked to contact the Riverside CHP office at 951-637-8000.

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