Out-of-control car leaves trail of destruction in Duluth neighborhoodA Duluth woman managed to leave her mangled car and walk to an ambulance with assistance Saturday morning after being involved in a one-car accident that police said covered 1,000 feet.
By: News Tribune staff, Duluth News Tribune
A Duluth woman managed to leave her mangled car and walk to an ambulance with assistance Saturday morning after being involved in a one-car accident that police said covered 1,000 feet.
Linda Gustafson, 73, was taken to Essentia Health St. Mary’s Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries after the accident that ended below Third Street and 24th Avenue West in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, Duluth Police spokesman Jim Hansen said.
Hansen said the accident, which was reported to police at 9:47 a.m., began when Gustafson’s southbound Toyota sideswiped a vehicle near Sixth Street. As the car continued downhill on 24th Avenue West, it hit three signs, a utility pole, a parked vehicle, two trees and a house before coming to rest below Third Street. Before all of that, it also may have hit a guardrail just below Skyline Parkway on 24th, Hansen said.
Duluth Acting Assistant Fire Chief Jarry Keppers said the car destroyed the front steps of the house and the gas meter next to the house. That caused a natural gas leak, and residents within a half-block of the scene had to be evacuated. The city Public Works Department was called to shut off the gas.
Keppers said the car’s fuel tank was ruptured and all of the gas in the tank apparently spilled into a nearby storm sewer. The Public Works Department flushed out the storm sewer, he said.
The car probably was a Toyota Camry, Keppers said, but it was so mangled it was impossible to tell. Parts of the car were strewn through the area, and its battery ended up across the street from where the car came to rest.
The cause of the accident hadn’t been determined as of Saturday evening, Hansen said. It may have been caused by medical issues, driver error, equipment failure or a combination of the three.
A witness, Kristin Andrick, said she watched Gustafson walk to the ambulance with assistance.