Some Echo Park residents were without power for more than 10 hours overnight after an SUV knocked out a power pole and slammed into a residence on Montana Street, breaking a gas line and prompting the evacuation of nearby homes. At one point about 1,300 DWP customers were blacked out following the accident that took place at approximately 9:3o PM on the 2100 block of Montana between Alvarado and Allesandro streets. Full service had been restored by 8 AM this morning, said a DWP spokeswoman.
Neighbors said the vehcile, whose driver fled the scene, snapped a power pole before hitting the front of a house on the steep and narrow street. The impact of the crash broke the home’s gas meter and gas line, said residents, who could hear natural gas hissing as they were told to leave their homes. “We just assumed there was going to be an explosion,” said a woman named Sara who lives at the house. Sara, who declined to give her last name, said the vehicle rammed the family home directly below the living room where her nephew was located. Both her nephew and her father, who was also at home, were not injured.
The house, however, suffered enough damage that lead building inspectors to restrict access to the front portion of the residence. Meanwhile, a detective with the LAPD Central Traffic Bureau said the driver of the vehicle had still not been located as of this morning.
Back on Montana Street, Sara was still trying go gather information about the accident and figure out how the family was going to repair the damage. “I’m just so glad the family was okay.”