Car hits ter­mi­nal, girl in­jured

Los Angeles Times - - CALIFORNIA - — Matthew Hamil­ton

A 9-year-old girl was in crit­i­cal con­di­tion Sun­day evening af­ter a car jumped a side­walk and struck her be­fore smash­ing into the wall of a ter­mi­nal at Los An­ge­les In­ter­na­tional Air­port, au­thor­i­ties said.

Shortly be­fore 5 p.m. the driver, a 67-year-old man, sud­denly veered from an outer lane and into a util­ity closet at the ter­mi­nal, LAPD Sgt. Roy Ceja said.

“All in­di­ca­tions say he prob­a­bly mis­took the gas pedal for the brake,” said Ceja, de­scrib­ing the crash as an ac­ci­dent. The driver did not ap­pear to be in­tox­i­cated and does not have a known med­i­cal con­di­tion, Ceja said.

The girl, whose name was not re­leased, was taken to Ron­ald Rea­gan UCLA Med­i­cal Cen­ter in crit­i­cal con­di­tion, Los An­ge­les Fire Depart­ment spokesman Brian Humphrey said.

“It’s safe to say she’s fight­ing for her life,” Humphrey said.

The driver and a male pas­sen­ger re­mained at the scene af­ter the crash and were later hos­pi­tal­ized with non-life-threat­en­ing in­juries.

Sev­eral lanes near the ter­mi­nal, which is used by United Air­lines and United Ex­press, were closed as emer­gency per­son­nel re­sponded to the scene, snarling traf­fic. All lanes were re­opened shortly be­fore 7 p.m., ac­cord­ing to a spokes­woman for the L.A. Air­port Po­lice.

Dam­age to the ter­mi­nal was mostly con­fined to the spot where the car en­tered the util­ity closet. Of­fi­cials cor­doned off a wider perime­ter around the crash scene, in­clud­ing a stair­well in­side the ter­mi­nal, as in­spec­tors sur­veyed for struc­tural dam­age, LAFD Bat­tal­ion Chief Ar­mando Ho­gan said.

No air travel was af­fected by the crash, air­port of­fi­cials said.

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