"Complete Destruction": SUV Crashes Off Freeway Into Family's Property

The driver ran from the scene, but the CHP received a call about two hours later from a man who says he was behind the wheel

By Christina Cocca, Brandon Lowrey, Toni Guinyard and Jonathan Lloyd
|  Thursday, Oct 24, 2013  |  Updated 2:12 PM PDT
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The driver ran from the scene, but the CHP received a call about two hours later from a man who says he was behind the wheel. It was't the first time the family who lives at the home near the 110 Freeway has had a close call with a vehicle. Toni Guinyard reports for the NBC4 News at Noon on Thursday Oct. 24, 2013.

Mark James

The driver ran from the scene, but the CHP received a call about two hours later from a man who says he was behind the wheel. It was't the first time the family who lives at the home near the 110 Freeway has had a close call with a vehicle. Toni Guinyard reports for the NBC4 News at Noon on Thursday Oct. 24, 2013.

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Family members are cleaning up after a sport utility vehicle driver crashed off the 110 Freeway and into a downtown Los Angeles family's backyard, leaving behind what a resident described as "complete destruction."

Police continued to search for the driver of the SUV, who ran away after the crash -- at least the third in the last two years at the location. The driver, wearing a t-shirt and shorts, climbed out of the SUV and ran as residents called for him to stop.

"He came out of the passenger side and just ran away and jumped over our fence," said resident Elizabeth Argueta. "He just jumped over the fence, landed on the ground, went to the other side, staggered, and he just disappeared." 

About two hours later, a 28-year-old man called California Highway Patrol dispatchers to report he was driving the vehicle. The man, who is not the registered owner, is not in custody, but he was interviewed about the case, according to the CHP.

Details regarding the man's identity were not immediately available. CHP officials said charges "may be pending," based on the outcome of their investigation.

Blood was found in the vehicle, but no other injuries were reported.

The car was heading southbound on the 110 Freeway transition road to the westbound 10 Freeway about 10 p.m. The freeway exit ramp is just 20 feet from the property's backyard, and Wednesday's crash followed two close calls for the family.

In January 2012, a truck flipped over the exit ramp, but did not land on the property. In November of 2012, a car with three girls inside smashed into the backyard fence and a tree.

The family living inside the home in the 900 block of W. 17th Street heard the crash Wednesday night and walked outside to see their shed and home gym completely destroyed.

"I was in the living room doing my homework and all of the sudden, my dad comes in and says to go with him outside," resident Camilla Argueta said. "It was complete destruction."

Video from the scene showed wreckage laying over a now-destroyed fence, and two boys trying to clean up the yard.

"I guess the car came off the road, hit our fence, went through our gym and somehow ended up against our shed," her mother Elizabeth Argueta said. "Our shed is completely gone. Everything inside the gym, a treadmill, bicycle, bookcases, TV is destroyed."

Aerial video showed a damaged black SUV towed away from the home.

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