At around 5:49 pm this evening, a car carrier coming down Angeles Crest Highway flew through the light at the bottom of the hill and smashed in the Flintridge Bookstore & Coffeehouse. It took out several cars in the process, and killed at least two people. Many others were injured. The channel 9 reporter was on the verge of tears when she noted that one of the victims was a baby.
I had passed through the intersection just 12 minutes before, on my way to a meeting. Here’s a picture I took at 7 pm, when I returned:
This town is devastated. Not only is it tragic, but it’s senseless. It’s no surprise, as this has happened many times before. This past September 5th, I witnessed this big rig fly through the driveway between Hill Street Cafe and the bookstore. That time we got lucky: no one was injured. Same with the time that the septic truck lost its brakes.
Local Girl Scout Malia Mailes recently stood before the La Canada Flintridge City Council and CalTrans representatives and noted the outrageously high number of truck crashes at this intersection. She called on CalTrans to ensure that Angeles Crest Highway is not used at a truck route. On this news this evening, she said that she’d looked through CalTrans documents, and there was nothing that explicitly bars trucks from this route. The channel 4 news reporter read a statement from Mayor Laura Olhasso stating that the city had repeatedly asked CalTrans to take action, but they hadn’t.
Nothing changed, except our worst fears were realized.
The helicopters are still buzzing overhead, documenting the investigation for the local news. Hopefully further above, in heaven, the victims are at peace.
- “Collision Leaves Two Dead in LCF” (La Canada Valley Sun)
- “Truck slams into Calif. bookstore; 2 dead, 12 hurt” (NPR)
- “2 killed as truck collides with cars, slams into bookstore” (Los Angeles Times)
- “Around Town: A Sad Day for Our Town” by Anita Susan Brenner (La Canada Valley Sun)
- Facebook group