Police today are trying to find out how a car jumped a curb and flipped over its side at an Echo Park gas station early this morning. Residents came rushing out of their homes and apartments at about 1:30 a.m. after hearing large booms and found a silver Chevrolet on its side and wedged up against an iron enclosure on the side of the Echo Fuels station at Echo Park and Morton avenues. “I thought a plane had crashed,” said Mariel Garza, who left her home and came down to the corner gas station after hearing the booms.
What she found was debris and gasoline across the station and a group of residents who had gathered near the car, whose driver had crawled out of the vehicle, according to police. “There was gas everywhere,” said Garza of the fuel that had come out of the damaged car.
The driver was taken to a hospital to be treated for her injuries, said Sgt. Chris Carson with the LAPD Central Traffic Division. Carson said tests showed the woman was not driving under the influence but it’s not clear why her vehicle went sailing through the gas station. The driver of the vehicle kept saying “Who hit me? Who hit me? said Garza.
A worker at the gas station, formerly known as Magic Gas, said he and other workers spent four hours cleaning up debris at the station, where the impact tossed a large trash dumpster across the sidewalk and bent a large metal gate. The car brushed against the fuel pumps, ripping off hoses but the gas on the ground was not from the station, he said.
Charles Toots walked down to the service station after driving past the crash scene on his way home. He snapped a few photos and provided a description of the scene:
Basically, the car did not negotiate the turn at Morton, avoided hitting the stop sign in the middle of the street, hit the concrete island on the corner and got somewhat airborne, went through the gas station between the bus bench and the tanks, shearing a nozzle and hitting the post, continued until it hit the fence (pushing the bin on the other side across the sidewalk) which, being at an angle to the cars path, then deflected it onto its side where it finally came to rest.
It is worth noting again that we saw no skid marks anywhere – including through the station. Also, Echo Park Ave still has no road striping and it was night so we do not know if that had anything to do with this.
* Correction & Update: A previous version of the post identified the car as Volkswagen. That’s wrong. The car is a Chevy Malibu. This post has been updated with new photos and details.