- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 2, 2009

LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE, CALIF. (AP) - A car transporter truck careened out of control at a busy intersection and smashed into a bookstore on Wednesday, killing two, critically injuring three and leaving several damaged and overturned vehicles strewn across the pavement.

Nine other people, including the truck driver, were treated for minor injuries at the scene, said Los Angeles County Fire Capt. Mike Brown.

The semi-truck was lodged inside the Flintridge Bookstore and Coffeehouse where one of the two people inside was hit by a piece of wood and received minor injuries, Brown said. The truck also damaged an adjoined wine store and nail salon after hitting five vehicles.

Brandi Sjostrom, 19, a waitress at the Hill Street Cafe, heard brakes squeal and her manager yelling for customers to get out of the way just before the truck smashed into a building a couple doors down.

“I felt nauseous,” she said of seeing the wreckage. “I was in shock and couldn’t believe what happened.”

Vehicles were strewn about on the intersection about 10 miles north of Los Angeles. One sport utility vehicle was on its side and sheets covered a small red car that was crushed.

The crash occurred during afternoon rush hour when the truck came down the highway out of control, and the driver could not make a sharp turn, Brown said.

City officials said they have complained repeatedly about the intersection to the state Department of Transportation. Last September, a semi-truck plowed through a parking lot next to the Hill Street Cafe, destroying seven vehicles and injuring one person, City Manager Mark Alexander said.

After that collision, the city requested that the state prohibit trucks on parts of the highway, post signs to warn trucks about the steep grades and install an escape lane uphill from the intersection. Highway officials and city officials disagreed about where to put the escape lane.

Mayor Laura Olhasso said “we are outraged that our numerous demands to CalTrans … were ignored.”

The state Department of Transportation did not immediately return a phone message.

Brown said the crash left the building unstable and firefighters were trying to get the truck out without causing the strip mall to collapse.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide