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Wayward Mercedes hoisted out of Verdugo Wash

January 27, 2012 |  8:20 am

Mercedes hoisted out of concrete channel
Workers with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers brought in a crane Thursday during rush-hour traffic  to hoist a Mercedes sedan out of the concrete Verdugo Wash channel in Glendale.

A 53-year-old Glendale woman, who police didn't identify Thursday, entered the wash about 11 a.m. at Glenoaks Boulevard and Kenilworth Avenue after reportedly confusing the concrete-lined channel for a freeway onramp, officials said. About a mile later, and after reaching speeds of up to 70 mph, the woman finally stopped after barreling down about nine, 3-foot long steps.

Maintenance workers tried to flag her down as she whizzed by at freeway speeds, the Glendale News-Press reported.

"Right now, it's unexplainable," Glendale Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said Thursday.

The extraction prompted police to temporarily close a portion of San Fernando Road, but Metrolink commuter service was not affected.

Hazmat crews were on the scene to make sure none of the car's fluids leaked into the water.

The woman could be asked to pay restitution due to the significant police, fire, heavy-lifting machine crews and engineers who responded to the incident, Lorenz said. Officials were evaluating whether she broke any laws in the incident.

The woman was taken to a nearby hospital for evaluation after complaining of back pain. Lorenz said she didn't appear to be under the influence of alcohol.

"She never even stopped," said Glendale resident Lisa McCallister, who witnessed the bizarre scene.


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-- Veronica Rocha, Times Community News

Photo: Glendale Public Works and police remove a car from the Verdugo Wash in Glendale on Thursday. Credit: Cheryl A. Guerrero / Times Community News