LOCAL L.A. Now

Joy ride crash witness: 'It was like something out of a movie'

It was about 3:45 p.m. when Ron Ross told his wife to call 911.

Outside their Angelino Heights home off Douglas Street and Calumet Avenue on Monday, a chaotic scene was unfolding.

A geyser of water was shooting into the air, flooding the sidewalk. A postal truck lay on its side. And its driver, a petite woman who had only been on the job since May, was broken, bloodied and pinned underneath.

And off to the side, according to witnesses, stood a 13-year-old boy who police later said was responsible for all of it.

“It was like something from a movie,” said Rita Olivera Ross, the 32-year Angelino Heights resident who dialed 911. “There’s this young Latina, and this truck is on top of her. It was a really bad scene.”

It took about six residents to lift the truck and free the woman, who Ron Ross affectionately calls “Running Girl” because of how quickly she moves from house to house.

According to police, the incident began when the teen took his sister’s car out for a joy ride. He allegedly took the gray Nissan Frontier westbound on Calumet Avenue. As he approached the intersection, police say the postal worker was heading southbound when she saw the truck headed straight for her and braced for impact.

The collision crushed the front of the pickup and sent the woman tumbling out of the postal truck and onto the pavement. The truck rolled onto its right side, landing on the woman’s lower half, said Los Angeles Police Officer Norma Eisenman.

Officials said the woman suffered “multiple spinal fractures,” a dislocated hip and cuts to the head.

“I thought she was dead,” Ron Ross said.

The woman –- who U.S. Postal Service officials declined to identify –- was recovering at USC Medical Center, police said.

The 13-year-old boy who allegedly drove into her truck was arrested on felony hit-and-run charges then released to his parents, Eisenman said. He will likely appear in a juvenile court later this week.

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Joseph.serna@latimes.com

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