Car slams into Echo Park gas station*

Photo by Charles Toots

Photo by Charles Toots

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.


  1. Ummm, it was a Chevy Malibu. The car also had an accident moments before on Echo Park Av @ Sunset Bl. when it turned the corner. There were no skidmarks on the street that we could see. I have pictures of the aftermath.

  2. She must have been on something !

  3. I read that police ruled out that the driver was intoxicated. $20 says she was texting.

  4. Can they PLEASE repaint the street markings? That can’t help.

  5. was she headed up the street? didn’t stop at the stop sign? how did she get enough speed going to do all that damage? did she really also get in an accident at Sunset? i’m just confused.

  6. Magic Gas doesn’t have a surveillance camera?

  7. She was going uphill and there is no way she stopped at that stop sign – she would have never gotten enough speed to then do all the damage she did. Still wondering about that possible incident down the street – if it happened, the police may be unaware of it and the possible connection if the victim merely reported it to their insurance. If there was no intoxication than I up the ante on texting to $30. Arf.

  8. Finishing the road job by repainting the crosswalk lines would help! I’ve seen some near misses at EP/Effie as well.

  9. Maybe she was really low on gas and was racing toward the station to refuel?

  10. Clearly the driver was Dazzled by the investment opportunities at the construction sight across the street. Even I, an aspiring “long time resident” have a difficult time keeping my eyeballs on the road when I drive past. The balloons festooning the fold out table during one of the frequent ‘sales events’ are particularly distracting.

    I put forth that Eric Garcia buy up the remaining units in an emergency attempt to keep this corner safe from over excited driving!

  11. I blame the condo development! It’s ruining Echo Park!

  12. I wonder if her brakes went out? I know it’s tempting to disparage the driver, but cars do have problems sometimes. A brake failure would explain missing the stop sign, taking a hard turn that resulted in some damage, and not slowing down. How scary, hope she’s okay!

    • If her brakes when out it is still her fault – brakes only go out when you don’t maintain. Especially on new cars!

    • If her brakes had gone out, she’d have emerged from the car exclaiming “My brakes went out! My brakes went out!”, not “Who hit me?! Who hit me?!”


  13. i know for a fact she wasnt texting because her phone had pocket dialed me while she was driving and i heard the whole accident

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