By Edwin Folven, 10/23/2012
A runaway dump truck careened down a residential street in Hollywood Tuesday and clipped a Metro bus, causing a chain-reaction collision that injured approximately 30 people.
The unoccupied dump truck, which was parked southbound on a steep grade on Stanley Avenue, rolled onto Hollywood Boulevard around 8 a.m. It struck the right side of the westbound Metro bus, causing the bus to careen into oncoming traffic and collide head-on with a BMW sedan. The BMW’s driver, who was trapped in the vehicle for more than 20 minutes, sustained the most serious injuries. Paramedics used the “jaws of life” to extricate her, and then rushed her to the hospital in stable condition. The BMW driver’s 10-year-old daughter, who was riding in the front passenger seat, was taken to the hospital with minor injuries, according to Capt. Rosa Moreno, commanding officer of the Los Angeles Police Department’s West Traffic Division. The bus driver and approximately 26 passengers also required hospitalization for minor injuries.
“We are very fortunate there weren’t any fatalities,” Moreno said. “It was a very unusual accident.”
It was originally reported that 25 passengers were riding the bus, and 17 of them were injured. Metro spokesman Luis Inzunza said some of the passengers left the scene on their own and were either “tracked down” by authorities or complained of injuries later and were taken to the hospital.
The dump truck’s driver parked and exited the vehicle at a construction site on Stanley Avenue. Moreno said investigators will be looking at whether the truck’s brakes failed or if there was some other mechanical failure that led to the collision. She added that the investigation will likely take several days.
Inzunza said the bus was operating on Line 780, and was heading towards its terminus near Washington Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue. Metro will also conduct an investigation into the collision, along with the LAPD’s West Traffic Division.