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La Cañada History: Runaway big-rig careens down ACH and into cars parked at Foothill Boulevard restaurant

La Cañada History: Runaway big-rig careens down ACH and into cars parked at Foothill Boulevard restaurant
Juan Acosta, an employee of Hill Street Café in La Cañada Flintridge, stands by his Ford Mustang after a close call with a runaway big rig that careened downhill on Angeles Crest Highway and slammed into parked cars in the restaurant's parking lot. (File Photo)

Ten Years Ago

At about 6:50 a.m. on Sept. 5, 2008, a 78,000-pound, big-rig truck transporting onions lost its brakes and careened downhill on Angeles Crest Highway and onto Foothill Boulevard. Luckily, there was a green light at the intersection, so cars were not traveling in its path at the moment. The driver threaded the big-rig through the narrow driveway then located on the east side of Hill Street Café, where it slammed into several cars, a wall, a large garbage bin and a tree before coming to rest. Hill Street employee Juan Acosta, who had been removing some items from his Ford Mustang, dived into the backseat for protection. “I thought I was going to die,” he told a reporter. The truck halted just feet before reaching his vehicle. Only one person was injured, a bystander who received minor cuts.

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Twenty Years Ago

A welcome rainstorm swept through the city in early September 1998, breaking a long spell of 100-plus degree days. The area had sweltered through 21 days of temperatures hitting or exceeding the century mark in the four weeks preceding the rain.

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Thirty Years Ago

A brazen bandit toting a .45-caliber automatic handgun robbed the Ralphs market on Foothill at Gould Avenue during peak business on early Thursday evening. After emptying the tills at four cash registers and the manager’s desk, the suspect made a clean escape.

Forty Years Ago

The La Cañada school board voted 3-1 to adopt an $8.3-million school budget for 1978-79, 10.4% less than the previous school year. The cut of $961,704 was blamed on funding losses resulting from the passage in June 1978 of Proposition 13, the “People’s Initiative to Limit Property Taxation” that amended the state Constitution.

Fifty Years Ago

Plaza de La Cañada, anchored by an Ivers department store and an Alexanders Market, was poised to hold its grand opening weekend 50 years ago this month. In order to raise funds for their philanthropic endeavors, members of Assistance League of Flintridge agreed to serve as hostesses during the event, with their work paid for by the plaza’s merchants. Today, T.J. Maxx operates where Ivers stood and a Gelson’s Market is in the storefront once occupied by Alexanders.

Sixty Years Ago

In light news from September 1958: A Descanso Drive resident reported to Montrose sheriff’s deputies that a raccoon on a rampage entered her backyard, tore up four shrubs and clawed the bark off her two Caroline cherry trees.

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