Nine people were hurt, including four who were seriously injured, in a chain reaction crash in Canoga Park that also sheared a fire hydrant, which caused the roof of a nearby shoe store to collapse, authorities said. One of the involved drivers was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving.
The two-vehicle wreck took place shortly before 9 p.m. at Sherman Way and De Soto Avenue, according to Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey.
One of them, a Kia, sheared off a fire hydrant, sending a geyser high into the air, and onto a nearby Warehouse Shoe Sale store. The pooling water on top of the building caused the roof to give way. The impact also knocked high-voltage power lines down.
“It was a lot of water. It was a pretty good geyser,” LAFD Battalion Chief Thomas Gikas said.
“As a result of the water getting on top of the roof and the weight of the water, the roof collapsed inside the business,” Gikas said.
“All store employees are accounted for, and no other patients are believed to be outstanding,” Humphrey added.
Among the injured was a 10-year-old child who was inside the store and suffered a broken leg in the roof collapse, Los Angeles Police Department Sgt. Joe McGee said. A 2 1/2-year-old child was also hurt, officials said.
One car was southbound on De Soto Avenue when it collided with the other car, which was heading west on Sherman Way, the sergeant said. The cars collided in the intersection, sending the westbound car careening into a fire hydrant.
The driver of the southbound car was arrested on suspicion of DUI after officers detected a “strong odor of alcohol” on her breath, McGee said. Initial tests indicated her blood-alcohol level was about twice the legal limit.
Police identified her on Monday as 29-year-old Ana Cabrera Noriega.