Cause of Fire Truck Crash Into Restaurant Probed

Firefighters, pedestrians and restaurant patrons were among those injured in the Wednesday

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Authorities are trying to determine why two fire trucks responding to the same fire collided at a Monterey Park intersection on Wednesday, sending one of them crashing into a restaurant. The restaurant's owner told NBC4 that this isn't the first time a vehicle has crashed into the building. Ted Chen reports from Monterey Park for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 17, 2014.

    Officials held a press conference to talk about the fire truck crash that injured 15 people when it slammed into a Monterey Park restaurant.

    The crash, involving two fire engines, happened Wednesday at Lu's Dumpling House near Garfield and Emerson avenues.

    Fifteen people were hurt, one critically. The truck went into the restaurant after hitting another fire truck responding to a fire. Officials are still determining which truck was at fault.

    "As a vehicle enters into an intersection code three, they are to approach that intersection safely and proceed through that intersection when it's safe," said Monterey Park Fire Department Chief Jim Birrell.

    Cellphone footage taken from inside the restaurant following the crash appeared to show a person trapped beneath the front of the engine.

    The crews in both trucks were heading to the scene of a house fire in southern Monterey Park when the collision occurred, Birrell said.

    Six firefighters suffered minor to moderate injuries, and eight people had minor injuries, authorities said. Three firefighters from each agency involved were injured.

    The California Highway Patrol is investigating the crash, while many of the victims are recovering, including one critically injured man who has now stabilized. Six others were released from the hospital Thursday afternoon.

    The owner of Lu's Dumpling House, Vivian Lu, said the repairs will take months. She wants answers and help from the fire department.

    One of Lu's waitresses was pushed forward by the engine that crashed through the eatery.

    "She said last night she took an X-ray," Lu said, of her employee who's recovering from home. "The bone is OK, but she feels like she cannot move her back."

    Lu said this is not the first time a vehicle has come through her storefront. A Mercedes crashed into her building six months before.

    She thinks, if it happens again, it might be her last dance with the intersection.

    "Everybody was scared," she added. "(If) any car will go inside the restaurant again -- even me, I will not stay."