Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Carmageddon: 'It was beautiful ... the best drive I've had in years,' motorist says

July 16, 2011 |  5:32 pm

Click here for more photos Midway through their trip from San Clemente to Los Angeles for the soccer match between Real Madrid and the Galaxy, it became clear to the Tolosa family that they had allowed far too much time to accommodate the potential traffic brought on by the feared "Carmageddon."

He and family got to their destination three hours early.

"It was beautiful," said Gary Tolosa, a beatific grin on his face, as he stood outside the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. "We came from San Clemente on the 5, and it was the best drive I've had in years."

PHOTOS: 'Carmageddon' closes the 405 Freeway

By the time the family had zipped to the 710 Freeway, sans obstruction, it was obvious a detour was in order.

"I said, 'You know what, let's get us some sandwiches. Beef dips,' " Tolosa said. "We got here so early we went to Philippe's. It was great."

Gary, his two children and his father arrived just outside the stadium, with hundreds of other early birds, around 2:30 pm. Joe Tolosa lay on his back on the cool grass to take a nap.

He said he knew it would be all right from the start.

"They were well prepared, as you can see," he said, a blue cap bearing the family's Spanish name on his head. "The only people who would have had a problem were those who were out of town and didn't read the newspapers or watch TV."


Carmageddon video: Woman drives down an empty 405 Freeway

Carmageddon: 2 cyclists arrested for riding on closed 405

Carmageddon: Mayor delighted to see empty streets

-- Hector Becerra at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

Photo: The Marina and 405 Freeway interchange is nearly deserted over Camageddon weekend. Credit: Arkasha Stevenson / Los Angeles Times