News » Crime & Courts

Alleged drunken driver smashes into Mission district parklet and fire hydrant

by

2 comments

A second parklet was damaged this week, but the culprit wasn't graffiti this time.

A reportedly drunken driver smashed through a parklet in the Mission early Monday morning, miraculously missing a sleeping homeless man before running over a fire hydrant.

The accident occurred around 1:10 a.m., fire department spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge said. The incident destroyed the parklet in front of EHS Pilates at 1400 Valencia Street.

The ruined parklet was two years in the making and cost the studio at least $16,000 of its own money, according to the studio's manager Andrea Scarabelli.

Pictures submitted by a reader of the vehicle and ensuing geyser show a partially flooded Valencia Street and severely damaged silver SUV.

A homeless man was reportedly sleeping in the parklet before the accident, Scarabelli said. She said it was a miracle he's still alive.

"We think the car launched over him," she said. "He said he woke up and saw the wheels fly over him."

A neighbor was the first on the scene, looking through the rubble for the man when they saw him across the street jumping up and down, Scarabelli said.

The vehicle apparently landed on the parklet and continued for about 50 feet after it hit the hydrant, dragging both along with it.

"There were no skid marks," Scarabelli said. The driver "did not hit the brakes."

The fire department responded to the scene, Talmadge said, and the driver of the SUV was taken to the hospital. Her injuries were not considered life-threatening, but she is in police custody. The battalion chief said they searched the area for additional victims but did not find any.

The Pilates studio sustained minor water damage, but the workers there were more upset about the loss of the parklet.

"It's not been a good Monday," Scarabelli said.

As of late Monday, police had not commented on the case.