LOS ANGELES, Calif.–Two Los Angeles police officers were treated today for injuries they suffered when they crashed into a shelter for women and children in South Los Angeles while pursuing a reckless driver, making the building unsafe and prompting the evacuation of 32 people, authorities said.
The pursuit started at Florence Avenue and San Pedro Street around 9:10 p.m. Sunday and went southbound, said Sgt. Lawrence Martinez of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Newton Station.
About a minute later, the driver of the gray BMW being pursued hit the curb while turning westbound on 85th Street, Martinez said, and the officer following close behind lost control, causing the cruiser to strike a corner of the shelter building.
The driver got away, and the BMW was later found abandoned a couple of blocks away with its left front tire blown out from hitting the curb, Martinez said. The car was not reported stolen.
The search was continuing for the driver who could face felony evading charges, he said.
The air bags in the police car deployed, but the two officers were injured and transported to a hospital.
One officer was released after he was treated for bumps and bruises, the sergeant said. The other suffered a broken ankle and was expected to be held at least 24 hours for observation.
The Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety deemed the structure unsafe and 11 adult and 21 minors were taken by MTA bus to other accommodations, said Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman Katherine Main.
None of them were injured, she said.
A boy scout troop had spent part of the weekend renovating parts of the shelter, including the room into which the cruiser crashed, a representative from the troop told a news photographer at the scene.