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Parked cars smashed up in hit-run

Witnesses say driver and passenger fled on foot after crash, and they haven't been found.

November 02, 2010|By Veronica Rocha, veronica.rocha@latimes.com
(Photo by Alexa Ruegg )

LA CRESCENTA — Alexa Ruegg got a rude awakening early Monday after discovering her Chevy Impala smashed up in front of her Maryland Avenue home.

Her Impala, along with a Toyota van, were destroyed in an early-morning hit-and-run crash.

She woke about 2:30 a.m. after hearing the loud crash, ran outside in the 4800 block of Maryland Avenue and saw the rear of her Impala smashed like an accordion.

"I felt like I was in daze when I went out there," she said.

Her car wasn't the only one hit. As she looked across the street, she saw the path of destruction.

Tire markings, car parts and fluid were strewn on the street.

A neighbor's Toyota van had been badly broadsided, with its front bumper barely holding on.

The front of the culprit vehicle, a black Mercedes SUV, had extensive damage, but the driver and passenger fled before police and residents arrived at the scene, witnesses said.

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Glendale police told Ruegg that the Mercedes was likely traveling more than 80 mph when it hit the van and then her car, she said.

After hitting Ruegg's car, she said the Mercedes blew out a tire and made several full circles before coming to a rest at the end of the block.

The Mercedes stopped against a Honda Accord, which had been parked in a driveway.

Witnesses reported the Mercedes driver and passenger fled on foot, but they were unable to provide descriptions, Glendale Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.

The Mercedes' engine then caught on fire, which Glendale firefighters quickly put out, Capt. Stuart Stefani said.

Firefighters also used a thermal imaging machine to search for the driver and passenger in nearby bushes.

"I am mad because we are the victims," Ruegg said. "This is going to cost us thousands of dollars."

Police are investigating the crash and are looking for the driver.

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