Gas service restored after driver hits gas line

April 4, 2012 4:26:23 PM PDT
PG&E has restored gas service to residents of a San Jose street after a suspected drunken driver crashed her SUV into a house on Tuesday night, rupturing a gas line.

Firefighters received a report at 10:09 p.m. that a vehicle had struck the garage of a home at 5072 Elrose Ave. and that there was a person trapped inside the car, San Jose fire Capt. Mary Gutierrez said.

The car had hit a gas meter, and PG&E was contacted by emergency responders around 10:30 p.m. Crews managed to stop the gas flow around 12:27 a.m. today, PG&E spokesman J.D. Guidi said.

PG&E evacuated seven nearby homes while they assessed the damage.

San Jose police identified the driver of the car, a silver 2000 GMC Yukon, as Viktoria Anneliesa Bristow, 41, of San Jose.

Police said Bristow was allegedly intoxicated when she crashed into the garage. No residents were injured in the crash.

Bristow was taken to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center for evaluation then booked into Santa Clara County Jail on one count of misdemeanor DUI, police said. She is being held on $10,000 bail.

Carol Hopper, 53, lives next door to the house that was hit, and said she was at home watching TV when she heard a big bang and said, "Someone hit the house."

It was actually her neighbor's house that had been struck, but the driver had also hit Hopper's Toyota Corolla, she said. Hopper said the impact caused her Toyota to spin around.

The car was totaled, she said.

"It's towed away, it's gone," Hopper said.

Hopper was told to exit her home after the crash and was not allowed back inside until 2 a.m., she said.

During the evacuation, she said, other neighbors brought chairs, tea and blankets out for those who had been evacuated. Some even opened their homes to residents who were waiting in the street, she said.

"I've lived in the neighborhood a long time, but I met neighbors I'd never met before," Hopper said. "That was kind of cool -- neighbors came together."

She said she didn't speak to the driver of the SUV but said the woman seemed "pretty out of it."

"She's going to have to pay for it all," Hopper said.


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