A 65-year-old man sleeping on a couch in a Koreatown homeless encampment survived the impact of a car that landed on top of him on Tuesday.
Firefighters used special equipment to lift the car off the couch. The 65-year-old homeless man and three passengers in the white sedan were all taken to the hospital but are expected to recover.
LA Fire Capt. Erik Scott said that him sleeping on the couch might have saved his life due to the cushioning and the height of the couch off the ground.
The mess left behind after crash kept Virgil at 5th closed off.
The encampment, which sits outside the main entrance to a medical office building, nearly blocked the entry way. It was covered with rotting food and dead rats.
It’s just one example of the hundreds of encampments that are scattered around Koreatown.
“We’re out here, you know?” said Ricky Ricker, who's homeless in Koreatown.
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He lives feet feet from Tuesday morning’s crash.
“When you hear like a – errr – it really brings fear to someone living on the street here,” he said.
He uses shopping carts to protect his space.
“People think it’s just rubbish when it really isn’t.”
A few blocks away, a giant wall of bikes greets drivers near Vermont and Fourth. It's in a district where international consulates have their offices, faced with inaccessible sidewalks taken over by encampment after encampment.
“the homeless continue to grow and it’s just getting worse and they’re in danger too on the streets and sidewalks,” said Katy Miro, a Koreatown resident.
She lives a block from the crash site and says she heard the screeching tires morning, just before 6 a.m.
“It’s very dangerous for them because they live on the sidewalk and this intersection they go fast, they don’t go the speed limit so there’s always a crash,” she said.