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Firetruck rams California eatery; 15 injured

15 Hospitalized After Fire Truck Crashes Into Restaurant

MONTEREY PARK, Calif. (AP) - Two firetrucks heading to a burning home collided Wednesday in a Los Angeles suburb, sending one careening into a restaurant and injuring 15 people, including six firefighters.

One man, who isn't a firefighter, was hospitalized in critical condition, officials said.

The crash on a busy commercial strip in Monterey Park left one truck embedded in the restaurant, with shattered glass and rubble heaped on the sidewalk. Chairs and tables were scattered inside.

"There was a loud boom and a lot of shaking. I thought it was an earthquake," said Wendy Wu, a waitress at Lu Dumpling House. She was in a walk-in freezer when the truck plowed through the front of the restaurant.

When she walked out of the freezer, uninjured, she saw a refrigerator pushed across the room and furniture in disarray. Wearing a uniform with the restaurant logo and speaking through an interpreter, Wu said she saw several injured people bleeding and attempting to stand.

Waitress Vivian Lu arrived for her shift moments after the truck rammed the building. She said she saw "a lot of people covered with blood," including a pedestrian with a mangled leg who had been knocked into the restaurant.

Trucks from Monterey Park and neighboring Alhambra, with lights and sirens activated, were responding to a house fire shortly after 3 p.m. when they slammed into each other, authorities said.

The Monterey Park truck plowed halfway into the restaurant.

A Monterey Park firefighter received moderate injuries while two other city firefighters and three from Alhambra had minor injuries, fire officials said.

Rosa Saca, a spokeswoman for Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, said nine victims were brought there, including five firefighters. The critically injured person was among the hospital's patients but is not one of the firefighters, she said.

Erik Jiang, a spokesman for Garfield Medical Center in Monterey Park, said six victims from the crash were treated at the hospital. None was in critical condition, he added.

An investigation was underway to determine what caused the crash.

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donna April 17 2014 at 9:00 AM

My prayers for everyone involved. Awful.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
bh1929 April 17 2014 at 6:19 PM

Firetruck 1 to firetruck 2. I'll race you to the fire.............

Flag Reply +1 rate up
vtmilitia April 17 2014 at 5:38 PM

This is what happens when truck drivers watch Fast and Furious too many times.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
Mark Harrison April 17 2014 at 3:45 PM

That's why they are called accidents. Even the best emergency response plans are at the mercy of drivers of the emergency and civilian vehicles. I will not address many of the stupid remarks already posted since I would only be wasting my time on ignorant, knee-jerk morons. Think you're so good? Join a local volunteer department and put your butt on the line for people like you.

Flag Reply +5 rate up
avanticrzy April 16 2014 at 11:52 PM

I can save the investigators a lot of time..........the crash was caused by two fire trucks hitting each other................

Flag Reply +5 rate up
solo25 April 17 2014 at 11:22 AM

Fire engine operators are still responsible for passing safely through intersections, lights and sirens or not. There is no good excuse for this, especially at an intersection in an area where there is poor visibility due to surrounding buildings.

Flag Reply +9 rate up
1 reply
2C62 solo25 April 17 2014 at 3:09 PM


Flag Reply 0 rate up
fcwigginssr April 16 2014 at 9:20 PM

I have been a firefighter for over 25 years and have never hit another fire truck

Flag Reply +6 rate up
1 reply
ferrariqx fcwigginssr April 16 2014 at 9:45 PM

And you point is.......???

It sounds as though you're saying it's impossible to happen?

Flag Reply +1 rate up
bambi4318.barbara April 17 2014 at 10:35 AM

Both fire trucks had sirens blasting, they could not hear each other.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
ae12wrangell April 17 2014 at 10:03 AM

It's not the first, or last time something like this has happened. In 1970's NYC 2 fire engines were on the way to a fire. A car came out of nowhere and the lead firetruck, which had 4 firefighers standing on the rear (they don't do that anymore), came to a screeching stop to avoid a collision. But in doing so, the 4 firefighters got thrown from where they were standing, and caught between the rear of that pumper, and the other firetruck that could not brake fast enough. All 4 died.
**** happens. The investigation into the accident found the vehicle that came out of nowhere at fault.

Flag Reply +5 rate up
1 reply
mayoluck ae12wrangell April 17 2014 at 12:30 PM

out of nowhere huh. if the two trucks hit each other who they gona blame, a chair that came out of nowhere. Sorry the firefighter drivers are always the ones responsible. They are suppose to drive at speeds if someone did come out of nowhere they can stop in time. And of course the city/st gona say the non union city work was at fault. Get real.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
Jack and Georgia April 17 2014 at 3:52 PM

For sure a error was made at the intersection and injuries happened.It is sad nothing was said that all of the fire personal were in route to safe a home or peoples lives as they do every day. Give them a break and thank all that serve the people across this country and some time give their lives.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
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