DUI suspect crashed into Calif. fire station, officials say

Officials said the truck crashed into an office area where firefighters sometimes sleep and do computer-based training but that no one was injured

Julissa Zavala
The Hanford Sentinel, Calif.

HANFORD, Calif. — Around 1 a.m. Saturday, three Hanford Fire Department firefighters who were asleep inside Station 3 woke up to what Chief Steve Pendergrass said they described as a train going through the fire station.

What they found, however, was a truck that veered off the road, drove through a block wall on the north side of the station building and crashed to the front office area of the station, located at 1070 S. 12th Ave.

The office area is where captains do their paperwork and where firefighters complete computer-based training programs, Pendergrass said. Occasionally, he said volunteers sleep in the office when the rooms are occupied.

Luckily, Pendergrass said no one was sleeping in the office that night and no one was injured in the collision, including the driver and passenger of the vehicle.

Hanford Police Department officials confirmed they arrested the driver, 22-year-old Manuel Loya-Sanchez, for driving under the influence.

HPD Lt. Greg Freiner said Loya-Sanchez was driving around 60 mph southbound on 12th Avenue when he lost control of the vehicle and bounced off several curbs before ramming through the block wall and crashing into the station, coming to a rest with about half the vehicle inside the office.

Inspected Monday morning, it looks like most of the damage is cosmetic and will hopefully be easily fixable, Pendergrass said, though he won’t be sure until further inspections are made.

HFD Station 3 is less than a year old and has only been in operation since July 2019.

Pendergrass said the damage could have been much worse if the driver had hit any part of the bay where the fire trucks are parked.

Monday morning, firefighters cleaned up the area and boarded up the damaged wall. Pendergrass said operations out of the station will continue as normal.

Fire Station 3 is a designated polling place for Tuesday’s Primary Election and Pendergrass said the crash does not change those plans.


©2020 The Hanford Sentinel, Calif.


While you were sleeping....A suspected DUI driver collided with Station 3. There were no injuries due to the collision. Station 3 is still in operation.

Posted by Hanford Fire Department on Saturday, February 29, 2020


McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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