LAKE ELSINORE (CBSLA) — The hunt is on for a hit-and-run truck driver after he sheared a fire hydrant and plowed into a hair salon in Lake Elsinore.
According to witnesses from the scene, the driver of a copper colored Toyota Tacoma towing a yellow boat with green trim was driving too fast when he missed a turn, hit a curb and plowed down a fire hydrant before coming to a stop after crashing into a hair salon at the corner of Grand and Adelfa.
“He dragged everything that he plowed down,” Linda, who owns the salon, said.
The driver went through a cage that protected the backflow meter and pump and hit the building, breaking windows and cracking the door frame. But the damage was much more extensive than that — the crash shifted the modest structure off its foundation.
“It buckled the floor,” Linda said after walking into the building for the first time after the accident.
The wooden shop was originally a fruit stand — moved to the area in the 60s — that was grandfathered into the current building codes. If the structural damage is too much, Linda will lose her business of 17 years.
“I mean, this little building, as small as it is, helped put my son through college,” she said. “So it’s a lot to me.”
Cindy Child said she feels for Linda. Child was able to get a picture of the truck after she stopped to check on the driver after the crash.
“You just know when someone’s drunk,” she said. “And you know, you smell it.”
Child said she recognized the driver and his boat because it stalled on Lake Elsinore earlier in the day. She said he refused her help then, too.
“He couldn’t get out quickly, so he was angry,” she said.
Both women are now asking for the public’s help tracking the driver down to hold him accountable for the damage. Anyone with information is asked to call California Highway Patrol.