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Pick-Up Truck Catches Fire Under 2-Freeway Bridge

An Eagle Rock resident nearby takes photos of the burned truck and a sidewalk strewn with trash—the area, he says, is notorious for "parking, partying, drug use and car sex."

Early Wednesday around 1 a.m., Eagle Rock resident Herb West was awakened by the sound of fire truck sirens. West, who lives on W. Avenue 40, close to Round Top Drive, looked out of his house and saw fire engine lights flashing in the vicinity of the 2 freeway nearby.

“I thought it must be a car accident,” said West, who’s a professional photographer. “But at 1 o’clock in the morning I wasn’t too excited to check out what was going on.”

Later in the morning, however, West grabbed his camera and went to the scene of the previous night’s commotion, which happened to be under a bridge through which Round Top Drive weaves westward under the 2 freeway.

When he got there, he found the charred remains of a pick-up truck that had evidently caught fire. Strewn around the vehicle was an abandoned mattress and trash that ranged from fast food boxes and electronic items to a six-pack case of beer and plastic containers in which medical marijuana is dispensed. (See photos above.)

'Parking, Partying, Drug Use And Car Sex'

“This place is just a breeding ground for people who do bad things under the bridge,” West told Eagle Rock Patch, adding: “In the past few weeks, there has been lots of parking, partying, drug use and car sex in the area. It has been increasing over the last couple of months, it seems.”

Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey confirmed that the LAFD got a call about the burning truck near the 4500 block of Round Top Drive at 12:32 a.m. and that several passersby or witnesses had called 911 about the fire.

When two fire trucks from LAFD Station 50 on Fletcher Drive arrived on the scene, firefighters saw the truck engulfed in flames, Humphrey said. The fire was put out quickly—and there were no injuries caused to anyone on the site, Humphrey said, adding that by 1 a.m. the LAFD had informed the Department of Transportation about the incident and requested that the truck be towed away. (At least as of noon on Wednesday, the truck was still there.)

Panoramic View—Marred by Trash

West and many of his neighbors, some pushing babies in strollers, walk up the hill leading from the sidewalk near the 2-freeway bridge. “Round Top Drive offers a great panoramic view once you get through the garbage at the bottom,” he said, adding, tongue-in-cheek:  “We consider the hike up to be the ‘poor man's Stairmaster’—great exercise, great view.”

West immediately emailed field deputies and other officials in the office of , who, he said, responded promptly. One of them, Nate Hayward—with whom West had been in touch regarding the public nuisance under the 2 freeway bridge—replied back, saying that he had driven by under the bridge just the previous afternoon and noticed trash along the sidewalk.

CD 14 Office Responds

In his email to West, Hayward said he would arrange for Street Services workers to clean up the trash and that he has also contacted LAPD’s Senior Lead Officer Craig Orange, who is in charge of public safety in Eagle Rock, to “get information about all calls for service relating to that area.”

Hayward said the CD 14 office has already submitted a request to the Department of Transportation to paint the curbside under the 2-freeway bridge in red color, as West had suggested, to keep vehicles from parking there at all hours.

Further, wrote Hayward in his email to West, “I would like to organize a community meeting within the next few weeks” as soon as information from the LAPD about public calls for services in the area becomes available.

martin j vasquez jr September 24, 2011 at 02:32 AM
and city hall want more fees from us using ladwp to get them for what ? what happen to the fees that this crook take alway from us via ladwp to cover extra cops , now they tell us we have tight resources , why the lapd have 2 cops in each car , pasadena , burbank , geldale have one per car .
Local September 27, 2011 at 01:17 AM
AJ, as you can see, I'm not completely alone. And yes, I reported the licence plate. And no, nothing has been done. As to your comment "it must be pointed out that smoking dope isn't one of them" .... Is that actually true? Even if it is, isn't operating a vehicle under the influence of ANY substance that would affect a drivers ability to drive a vehicle (DWI, DUI) be enough? The amount of THC in the marijuana that's sold at these dispensaries have, at the least, twice the amount of THC. How many, with blood shot eyes, slurred speech and slowed motor skills would actually pass a field sobriety test? The legalization of marijuana does not constitute someone's freedom to consume said drugs in public. I love a good scotch, now and then, but I don't park in front of anyone's house drinking a bottle of my favorite 12 year old single malt
Local September 27, 2011 at 01:21 AM
one more thing, "In his email to West, Hayward said he would arrange for Street Services workers to clean up the trash " .... the trash is still there including the mattress that's been dumped there the same day the truck caught fire. This city takes my money and pockets it, and that's that.
Ajay Singh September 27, 2011 at 02:05 AM
Local—as far as I know, the LAPD can do nothing to someone who has a medical marijuana permit and is seen smoking permit-certified dope, even in a public place such a street where there are no "No Smoking" signs. I'm not sure what the law is for being intoxicated while driving, an activity that I'm sure a lot of people who smoke medical marijuana indulge in.
Ajay Singh September 27, 2011 at 02:06 AM
Local—thanks for the update about the trash. I'll let Herb know, who will probably convey the matter higher up.

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