Crash forces McDonalds evacuation

September 28, 2008 4:05:42 PM PDT
San Jose fire and Pacific Gas and Electric Co. crews have sealed a gas line that was struck by a vehicle this morning, prompting a temporary evacuation of a McDonald's restaurant and two nearby buildings.

The driver of a four-door sport utility vehicle was attempting to back out of a parking spot in the lot of a McDonald's restaurant at 1435 S. Winchester Blvd. shortly before 8 a.m.

San Jose Fire Department Capt. Robert Culbertson said she unintentionally drove forward and into an adjacent parking lot where the vehicle struck a utility pad and caused the gas leak.

The McDonald's and an adjacent building, which had three residents, were evacuated. A shelter-in-place warning was initially issued for a building at 3128 Loma Verde Drive, but officials later evacuated eight residents from that building.

Crews spent nearly seven hours working to successfully seal the gas line before determining the area was safe.

"We're out of the emergency mode right now," Culbertson said around 2:45 p.m. "We're really in a demobilizing process."

Residents were able to return to their homes and South Winchester Boulevard reopened around 3:20 p.m.

The driver involved in the incident was assessed and declined medical treatment, Culbertson said.


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