2 Hurt After SUV Crashes Into Apartment Building

Incident Occurred In 1800 Block Of Upas Street In North Park

Two people were injured and two others were displaced on Saturday after a vehicle crashed into a North Park apartment building, according to San Diego police and fire officials.

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The incident occurred at about 11:26 a.m. at a building in the Canyonwood Apartments in the 1800 block of Upas Street.

A man in his 70s was driving a Kia SUV on Upas Street when the SUV accidentally went through a wood fence. The SUV went down a 50-foot embankment before it rolled over and crashed into the apartment building.

"I thought that huge earthquake had happened and then I went into my living room... I went into my bedroom and saw a car up against the window," said neighbor Jim Chatham.

A witness said he was driving behind the SUV before the crash occurred. He said it was going slowly before it came to a stop and then flew off the hill.

"They were going really slow," said witness Rich Rogalski. "I happened to notice a handicap sticker on their license plate."

He added, "I'm sitting here making a right-hand turn on this driveway and they flew... They sped up and flew right off this street."

It is unclear what exactly caused the crash.

The driver and his female passenger – who was in her 60s – were extricated from the wreckage and were both taken to a local hospital.

The passenger suffered back pain, and the driver suffered a major head injury and a severe injury to his hand.

Eight adults were initially evacuated from 12 of the building's units and a building engineer had been called in, according to a San Diego Fire-Rescue Department dispatcher.

Most of the residents were allowed to return to their homes, however two remained displaced, the dispatcher said.

Two units were damaged and deemed uninhabitable until further inspection. Two others had their gas turned off, Battrick said.

It took rescue crews several hours to remove the SUV. They said that process is sometimes risky.

"Since there is structural compromise into the building, removing that vehicle might be the only thing that's actually securing that," said San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Capt. Eugene Scott.

The San Diego police Traffic Division is investigating the crash.

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