CANOGA PARK (CBSLA) — Nine people were hurt – including a 4-year-old child — after a suspected drunk driver caused a collision into a fire hydrant in Canoga Park Sunday evening, creating a massive geyser which collapsed the roof of a nearby shoe store with customers inside.
The two-vehicle collision occurred the corner of Sherman Way and De Soto Avenue just before 9 p.m.
According to the Los Angeles Fire Department, a speeding Kia crashed into a Nissan, which sent the Nissan slamming into a fire hydrant.
The impact created a geyser, sending water spewing hundreds of feet into the air. The cascading water caused a partial collapse of the roof of a WSS Footwear store, with several customers inside. It also toppled power lines.
“I heard my manager scream,” store employee Gildardo Valencia told reporters. “I turn around, the whole ceiling of our store just collapsed inside the middle of the store, and water just gushing. And there’s little kids and customers in the middle of the store.”
There was so much water going through the building that shoes were pouring out into the parking lot.
Nine people were rushed to hospitals, four of whom had critical injuries, the fire department said. A 4-year-old suffered a broken leg. LAFD spokesman Brian Humphrey said none of the injuries appeared to be life-threatening.
The female driver of the Kia was seen being handcuffed at the scene. She is suspected of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
L.A. Department of Water and Power workers were able to get the water shut off within an hour. However, the cleanup is expected to be extensive. A financial estimate of the damage to the building was not confirmed.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)