By Mary O’KEEFE
An early morning car crash got an entire neighborhood out of bed and into the street on Monday morning.
According to Glendale police, about 2:30 a.m. a call came into the station about a car accident in the 4800 block of Maryland Avenue.
“Apparently this Mercedes was [traveling] at a high rate of speed and blew a tire. You can see the skid marks all the way down the street,” said Alexa Ruegg, a Maryland Avenue resident.
Ruegg was asleep when she heard a crash. She went out to her front lawn and described what she saw as more like a movie set than real life.
“At first I thought a car went through a stop sign and into a neighbor’s house on Reta Street,” she said. “I then saw a car on the sidewalk [down the street] and I thought, ‘Who would drive their car up there like that?’ Then I noticed that was my car.”
Ruegg’s vehicle had been pushed down the street about 40 feet, she said. Another car had been sideswiped, bashing in the side and ripping off the front bumper.
Neighbor Wes Woodland was also on the street surveying the damage. He said from what neighbors had told him and what he had witnessed it appeared the Mercedes had spun 360 degrees several times past five houses.
“That is almost the length of a football field,” he said.
“The vehicle had lost its hood, which landed on Reta Street, and the hood’s insulation tore off and ended over a neighbor’s fence on Maryland,” Ruegg said.
The battery flew out of the car spewing battery acid everywhere including on Woodland’s 1967 Mustang.
“I have had that car for 28 years. It was my first car,” he said.
The Mercedes finally came to rest with its bumper just touching another car’s bumper. Then it caught on fire.
Witnesses reported that the driver and passenger, described as kids, fled the scene as the car began to smoke.
“Wes came with his fire extinguisher,” Ruegg said.
Glendale Fire Department responded.
“It was a minor [engine] fire,” said Capt. Stewart Stefani. “We used thermal imaging to look for the driver and passenger.”
But they were not found.
“One of our neighbors who lives down the street was outside smoking [a cigarette]. He [allegedly] saw the kids leave,” Ruegg said.
Another neighbor reportedly heard one of the kids from the Mercedes screaming at the other one not to put water on it. It is not clear what the kid was referring to however Ruegg said the airbags in the Mercedes were deployed.
Witnesses said the keys were left in the vehicle.
“I was told by [law enforcement] the car wasn’t reported stolen,” Ruegg said.
The Mercedes title has changed hands various times. The driver and passenger have not been identified as of press time. Glendale police continue their investigation into the accident.