LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE, Calif. – A car transporter truck careened out of control at a busy intersection and smashed into a bookstore on Wednesday, killing two, critically injuring three and leaving several damaged and overturned vehicles strewn across the pavement.
Nine other people, including the truck driver, were treated for minor injuries at the scene, said Los Angeles County Fire Capt. Mike Brown.
The semi-truck was lodged inside the Flintridge Bookstore and Coffeehouse where one of the two people inside was hit by a piece of wood and received minor injuries, Brown said. The truck also damaged an adjoined wine store and nail salon after hitting five vehicles.
Brandi Sjostrom, 19, a waitress at the Hill Street Cafe, heard brakes squeal and her manager yelling for customers to get out of the way just before the truck smashed into a building a couple doors down.
"I felt nauseous," she said of seeing the wreckage. "I was in shock and couldn't believe what happened."
Vehicles were strewn about on the intersection about 10 miles north of Los Angeles. One SUV was on its side and sheets covered a small red car that was crushed.
The crash occurred during afternoon rush hour when the truck came down the highway out of control, and the driver could not make a sharp turn, Brown said.
Brown said the crash left the building unstable and firefighters were trying to get the truck out without causing the strip mall to collapse.