Sunday, October 23, 2016

Pickup truck slams into Silver Lake drug store; pedestrian injured [updated]

Photo by Jen Pann

Photo by Jen Pann

SILVER LAKE – A pickup truck slammed into a drug store at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Parkman Avenue this morning following a collision with another vehicle. Paramedics were on the scene of the collision that took place shortly before 7 a.m.  outside the Sun Lake Drugs store.

* Update: A pedestrian who was standing on the sidewalk was pinned between the pick-up truck and the building, said Lt. Nate Williams with the LAPD’s Central Traffic Division. The victim was transported to a hospital to be treated for injuries that were not believed to be life threatening. The pickup truck, which collided with a Toyota Corolla, also struck a lamppost at the corner, Williams said.

Truck being removed from the crash scene | Photo by Jennifer Deines

Sun Lake's front window was smashed and a card rack took a beating but the store was open today, reports Dan Gershon of Silver Lake. | Dan Gershon

Sun Lake’s front window was smashed and a card rack took a beating but the store was open today, reports Dan Gershon of Silver Lake. | Dan Gershon

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  1. Idiot humans in cars make it unsafe for everyone. Very sad the daily carnage that automobiles cause in our city.

  2. That pedestrian should have been wearing a helmet! That building should have had high-viz paint!

    Poor car drivers! Poor cars! Heal up little cars, and get back out there on the road – just like your drivers. Drivers who will face no legal repercussions from this little escapade, this teensy tiny slice of material evidence of incompetence to operate a multi-ton vehicle, this oopsie, this accident.


    In conclusion, I blame the bike lanes!

  3. This happens at least once somewhere in LA. If you’re going to have super-wide boulevards, you’re to have people driving too fast on them. Its really that simple.

  4. Remind me again why we allow people to whiz down this street at 40 MPH? That particular stretch of Sunset between Micheltorena and Benton is basically an urban freeway, with a few businesses hanging in there by the good graces of pedestrians who tolerate cars whizzing past them at high speeds or because the building landlords charge dirt-cheap rent because nothing wants to locate there. Oh, and strip malls.

  5. Has anyone said that the accident was caused by speeding?

    • Yah, no one knows if this was caused by speeding per se, but given the picture of the truck wedged into the building that it crumpled, it clearly was going a pretty significant speed (which could have been just the speed limit of 35 MPH). The point about safety, and sadly for that pedestrian it’ll likely be a lifetime of medical bills, is that a pedestrian hit by a car going 40 MPH is going to die 8 times out of 10, while a pedestrian hit by a car going 20 MPH is going to die one time in 10. As Jennifer D pointed out below, LADOT’s distinction of Sunset Blvd as a “Class II Major Highway” means that the city’s official position is that the 35 MPH speed limit is entirely appropriate (even if that usually means people going 40-45 MPH). The end result is that accidents that might have been less damaging had they occurred from vehicles going 25-30 MPH are that much more deadly and dangerous.

      This is a traffic safety lesson we’re just learning now, which is that it’s not the driver’s fault for having the accident per se, and efforts to make streets wider and less obstructed actually result in costlier and deadlier accidents because drivers take more chances and drive more quickly. We’re designing our right-of-way to increase the likelihood of death and destruction from a driver’s mishap. We’re all human beings prone to error – we just enhance the negative outcomes of that error by permitting speeds that don’t belong on a major commercial corridor.

  6. When we tried to affect traffic calming measures (to enhance pedestrian/commercial uses) on Sunset in Echo Park the council office (cd1) contacted DOT (Merhdad) with our concerns and our proposal.

    Guess what they said?
    Sunset Blvd is a Class II major highway with a specific traffic flow calculation associated with its designation. Therefore we *cannot* slow traffic down because it would fall below the desired flow rate and cause a ripple effect of congestion throughout the area. (Isn’t that what might incentivize people to use other means?)

    Please Eastside dwellers— send Mitch and Gil your emails telling them to fix this. There’s plenty of traffic calming further on up Sunset where the folks have money and influence. The commercial will never fully develop in areas where folks are flying by at 45 mph.

    Apply the pressure liberally and do not stop!

    • Until we can break the LADOT status quo of # of cars thru any given intersection we will always be stuck in shit like this. The council offices can do anything, ESPECIALLY GIL he doesn’t care about traffic safety. Mitch is spineless and has no solutions to anything, but at least he isn’t holding up any bike/transpo projects….yet.

      IT would be great if we could get some bus lanes and cycle tracks from DTLA to Fountain on Sunset but I doubt that will ever happen. The only thing that will happen is more of this……cars crashing into people & things. 🙁

    • That response is total bullshit – their “flow calculations” are never released to the public and even with their enhanced flow of traffic cars only average 20 miles per hour in off-peak hours. During rush hour most streets in LA are lucky to average 13 mph in average travel speed.

      In conclusion, you can slow absolute car speeds and end up with faster average trip AND make the entire street safer.

      Sunset is a rural highway running through a dense commercial and residential district. The private property and the street are designed at cross purposes.

      It is a “stroad” like so many others in LA and this horrific crash is part of the regular evidence against this stupid design.

      If you want a high speed car corridor, remove the red lights, remove the curb ramps, remove pedestrian access, wall off the intersections – and you’d still only get an average travel time of 25 to 30 mph.

      It would cost you the millions in infrastructure and services that are provided to the area as well as a ton of local revenue from sales and property taxes – but the cars would flow faster.

      Or, you can figure out a way to reduce top speeds while moving cars at a more sane 20 mph or less (i.e. closer to their average speeds now) and reap the benefits of an actual return on the investment of full electric, water, sewer, police, fire, school, etc. coverage the area no receives.

  7. And this is what Sergio and his friends in Atwater want for the Hyperion Bridge. I say no more! Streets are for everyone!!

  8. I am wishing that there isn’t much loss of business for the Sun Lake drug store. It’s old school and I hope this accident doesn’t end up changing them.

  9. I saw this happen. Saw the whole thing. It was horrible. To those speculating in the comments, please just shut up. I suppose in the age of the internet everyone has an opinion and feels the need to share but please. The light was yellow. This woman decided to make a left (westbound from sunset to silverlake blvd) as the truck (headed eastbound on sunset) also decided to hurry to make the light. Truck swerves but still hits the car, then jumps the curb, then hits the pedestrian–who was on the damn sidewalk–and pins this poor soul between Silverlake drug and his truck. There was a police car on Silverlake blvd at the time and they saw this go down as well. It was about 5 minutes before the fire truck came to free this man. All the while I’m watching, crying, hoping the man is alive. Will he be able to walk again? It was terrible.

    So please. Shut the hell up. God help the pedestrian.

    • Who was at fault? The truck driver for trying to make the light? The woman who turned possibly failing to yield? The city for having terrible motor vehicle infrastructure like un protected left turns? Los Angeles culture of negligence and utter disregard for human life on our streets?

      This left turn crash happens all the time here. My college roommate was crossing the street when this same situation happened, by the grace of the black baby jesus the out of control car clipped his left leg, launched him up into the air and onto the sidewalk. Made it away with a broken left leg, one more step and he would be dead for sure.

      Slow down and be careful please I don’t want to die on the streets! All this carnage is easily prevented!

    • People always look for events like these to confirm their personal political hobbyhorses. The pedestrian is a prop to them. But that’s the internet.

      Car accidents happen. Bike accidents happen, Train accidents happen. Plane accidents happen.

      I hope that pedestrian is okay too.

      • “Accidents happen”. AMEN! Just another oopsie. There is nothing we can do about the design speed of our streets to change things. Just stop riding your political hobbyhorses people! Have some respect!

        There is absolutely no change that could have been made to the street design, the cars themselves, the legal framework of driving, the requirements to be licensed, the insurance industry, nothing, just nothing. So lets just suck it up and chalk this one up to “accident” and please people stay off your political hobbyhorses.

    • Ditto. I saw the horrific accident as well. Please enough vitriol when you have not been a witness. And to speculate in such a shallow way…. I had to pull over and cry because I kept picturing the pedestrian who was picked up at least nine feet up and then pinned to the wall. Yes, a lifetime of medical issues and for the drivers as well. It makes us have to look at our own driving and distraction and yes lobby for safer roads.

    • @human, hello! Can you tell how old the man who got involved in the accident? Because my Grandfather met an accident same date and same place. I’m here in the Philippines and I got the news from my Aunt. We are waiting for the police report to know exactly what happened but I can’t wait for that so I decided to search and look for a news about the accident happened on 9/11 in silver lake. Then I’ve found this article and I think this was the accident that my grandfather got involved with. If you’ll say that he’s around 80 y/o and Asian, then confirmed. He is my Lolo (Grandpa). Thank you for your concern about him @human. He’s alive but I’m not sure if he will be able to walk again. He still needs to undergo operation on Monday due to spinal fracture.

      • Jay, it looked like an older man who might have been asian or hispanic. He was wearing a hat/cap, My prayers are with your family. The image of that man is burned in my memory. I hope your Lolo is OK. My prayers are with your family! I am sorry I didn’t see your message sooner.

  10. I’m on Sunset from Downtown (where it is Chavez) on out past Hollwood a lot — and if there isn’t much traffic people routinely ramp it up to 40 mph. That’s simply unsafe. But when I cruise at 30 — 35 mph, there is honking and hard looks, like I’m going 10 mph in a golf cart.

    I frankly don’t like a lot of today’s drivers in my hometown.

  11. i make this turn every morning and fear for my life every time – people fly around that curve and when there is a car turning left from eastbound sunset blvd (always) you pretty much cannot see anyone on the curve until it is too late at the speed they’re going, unless you’re in a large enough vehicle to see over the left-turner’s car. at the very least, they need to install an arrow at this light. maybe now they will?

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