Second Car in Two Years ‘Sacks Out’ in Bedroom

Times Staff Writer

A speeding car on Friday crashed through the bedroom wall of a Glendale apartment that had suffered heavy damage in a similar accident less than two years ago.

Tenants Javier and Emilia Zarate, who were not living in the apartment at the time of the first crash, were asleep at 3:40 a.m. when a stolen Toyota Corolla burst into the bedroom, knocking their bed several feet across the room and sending other furniture sailing.

The driver and a passenger fled before police arrived and have not been found, Glendale Police Officer Rafael Rivera said.


“We’ve contacted all the hospitals. By the way the windshield caved in we assume they have head injuries,” he said.

Emilia Zarate, 41, said she was struck in the head by the car’s fender and that her husband, Javier, 28, was hit in the head by an airborne nightstand. The couple refused emergency medical treatment, however, opting instead to visit their own doctor later that morning.

“I didn’t know what was going on . . . I thought it was an explosion,” Emilia Zarate said. “There was a lot of dust. It felt like somebody hit me in the head. I was very terrified.”

Rivera said the car, which had been stolen from a Commerce resident, was going from 50 to 60 m.p.h. northbound on Adams Street when the driver apparently failed to notice that the street dead-ends at East Palmer Avenue. Instead of turning, the car continued through the intersection and struck the southeast corner of the 26-unit apartment building, where the Zarates live.

Another car crashed into the same apartment unit on Dec. 15, 1985, when a 73-year-old man lived there, police said.

Fearing that the crash may have weakened the structure, police and fire officials temporarily evacuated about 20 tenants Friday morning. But by 5:30 a.m. a building inspector determined that the building was safe.


Remarked one city employee: “Must have been one helluva rude awakening.”