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Octogenerian hit pedestrian before crashing into office, police say

April 19, 2012 | 12:49 pm


A woman in her 80s swerving to avoid a collision struck a pedestrian before plowing into a San Fernando Valley dental office Thursday morning, injuring six people, three critically.

Los Angeles police investigators have preliminarily determined that the driver may have changed direction at the intersection of White Oak Avenue and Vanowen Street to avoid hitting another vehicle, then lost control and smashed through the front of a strip mall office.

"No one died here, luckily. When you see the what happened, we dodged a bullet," said Los Angeles police Capt. John Egan. 

Egan said the driver, whow as not named, swerved to avoid hitting another motorist.

"She ran up the handicap [access] ramp, then hit a pedestrian in the parking lot before going into the office," he said. "The two employees at the reception desk were struck. One suffered broken legs."

Egan said everyone was expected to survive.

Investigators said the driver passed a sobriety test, Egan said.

The larger, older model Buick station wagon careened into the office in the 6800 block of North White Oak in Lake Balboa about 9:30 a.m., officials said.

Los Angeles Fire Department Inspector Matt Spence said at least six people were injured, and three of them were ''critical."

Spence said two had to be extricated after they were pinned by the car. Three others were in "fair" condition, he said.


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-- Richard Winton

Photo: The driver of a station wagon that crashed into a dental office walks past her vehicle. Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times