Los Angeles News

Dramatic video released of Chevron crash

Friday, June 17, 2011

Authorities on Friday released surveillance video of a frightening crash at a gas station in Santa Clarita that left two people injured.

A car slammed into the Chevron gas station near Newhall Avenue and Sierra Highway at about 2 a.m. with such force that one gas pump was ripped from the cement. The driver crashed into a second pump and a support beam, causing the awning to collapse.

Sheriff's investigators said just before the accident, a deputy saw the vehicle stopped in the middle of the street. It looked suspicious, so he went to investigate.

When the deputy turned on his lights, the driver sped away at an estimated 100 mph and then crashed, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff's Det. Jeff Maag.

Both people in the vehicle, a male driver and a female passenger, were trapped inside when the awning fell. Firefighters had to use the Jaws of Life to rescue them.

Both were transported to a local hospital. Inspector Don Kunitomi of the L.A. County Fire Department said one person had a serious leg fracture and the other had a leg injury.

The rescue was made more difficult because the car was actually holding up the awning.

There was a small fire, but deputies were able to put it out quickly before firefighters arrived. Investigators said all power to the fuel pumps were shut off, and there was no danger to the community.

Investigators will try to determine if alcohol played a factor in the crash.

A woman who said she was the driver's girlfriend said she last saw him at 6 p.m. Thursday.

"I don't know who was with him, and I don't know what happened really," she said.

Building inspectors have red-tagged the area. The gas station owner said the pumps were expected to be closed for about three months.

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