Driver slams into Canyon Crest apartment, woman injured
Update: Apartment resident Victoria Deabout received minor to moderate injuries, according to CHP, and she and Scott were released from the hospital later that day. Scott was then booked into San Diego Central Jail with an additional charge of hit and run for damages he reportedly caused in the Kmart parking lot, said investigating CHP Office Joe Nielsen. Gail Payne, Canyon Crest community manager said on June 11 that a county inspector deemed the building had no structural damage but the two apartments were inhabitable. Payne said she had units available for the displaced residents.
A 21-year-old man has been arrested on a charge of felony driving under the influence after he slammed his car into the Canyon Crest apartment building at Day and La Brea streets, causing injuries to a woman in one of the apartments, around 11:30 a.m. on Friday, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The woman sustained moderate injuries and was transported to the hospital via ambulance and air support, said CHP Officer Brian Pennings.
Charles Scott of Imperial, Calif., was determined to be “under the influence of an inhalant due to witnesses and physical evidence,” said Pennings. Scott received a contusion to his forehead and was transported to the hospital by ambulance, he said.
Scott’s 2005 silver Ford Focus hit directly between two separate apartment units, reported Pennings, adding that reinforcements in the building prevented the car from entering the apartments.
According to witnesses, the man was driving erratically and speeding into the apartment complex parking lot just before the accident occurred.
Pennings said Scott was traveling north on La Brea Street and failed to maintain his vehicle on the roadway. He struck a sign at the southwest corner of La Brea and Day streets and then continued across Day Street into the apartment complex, according to reports.
The vehicle then sideswiped a car in the parking lot before colliding with the apartment building, Pennings said.
Marcus Criswell was one of the witnesses who saw it happen and said Scott was driving very fast into the complex before he hit the building, causing a lot of force at impact.
“Everybody heard it, felt it,” he said.
Two other witnesses said they saw the driver in the Kmart parking lot on Main Street just before the accident.
“He hit a median and a tree head-on,” Valli Clark said, describing what she saw in the Kmart parking lot. She said he then backed up and hit another tree.
“He almost ran over a lady and her baby,” she said. Clark added that she saw him talk to another man and show a can of Dust-Off.
“He was very incoherent,” said Lacy Willis who was with Clark. They said they called 911, as did others in the lot, and followed him, concerned that an accident was waiting to happen.
Canyon Crest Assistant Manager Valerie Cechvala said the car caused damage to the kitchens of two apartments. The woman who was injured, she said, was standing with her back to the kitchen counter when the driver hit the wall.
Cechvala said building inspectors would be checking the two downstairs apartments that had damage, as well as the two apartments above. The assistant manager said she had apartments available for displaced residents.
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