A suspected drunk driver on a “rampage” smashed his way through downtown San Fernando, crashing into seven cars and slightly injuring three people before he was arrested, police said Wednesday.
The driver was arrested after he rammed a car and became stuck, ending a wild, five-minute ride through the city’s shopping district Tuesday night that caused an estimated $32,000 in damage, San Fernando Police Sgt. William Miron said.
He identified the driver as Jose Angel Herrera, 28, of Sylmar.
It was not known what motivated Herrera, Miron said. “He was playing bumper car. Luckily, no one was killed,” he said.
Miron said the mile-long string of crashes began about 6:55 p.m. at Celis and Meyer streets. Herrera was driving east on Celis when he rammed a car heading north on Meyer, Miron said. He failed to stop and continued east on Celis to Kalisher Street, where he crashed into a parked car, Miron said.
From there, Herrera drove north on Kalisher to San Fernando Road and headed east. As he drove along the two-lane commercial strip, Herrera crossed the center line and hit a westbound car and then swerved back across the street and struck a parked car, Miron said.
A minute or so later, Herrera rear-ended a fifth car at San Fernando and Maclay Avenue, Miron said. Half a block farther, Herrera again crossed the center line and sideswiped another car, he said.
Herrera finally stopped after he rammed a seventh car head-on in the 900 block of San Fernando Road, Miron said. His truck became stuck and he was arrested. After being treated for minor injuries at San Fernando Community Hospital, Herrera was booked into San Fernando Jail on investigation of felony hit-and-run and drunk driving.
He was being held in lieu of $5,000 bail. Miron said Herrera’s blood was tested for alcohol content, but the results were not available Wednesday.
Three people were treated for minor injuries at Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills.
Shopkeepers said they watched in amazement as the truck bounced through downtown like a pinball. Pablo Solis, manager of Jim’s Western Wear, said he was closing the shop when he heard a crash outside. His employees ran out in time to see the truck ram other vehicles down the block, Solis said.
“We just saw him zip by here,” Solis said.