Life is imitating art in increasingly nutty ways. If, in a movie, we’d seen this same crash between a car and a bus that happened in Long Beach, California, we’d have thought, “No way. What are the chances?” A Dodge Charger driver showed us the chances are never zero.
The driver, speeding south on South Street toward California Avenue at around 3 o’clock on a Thursday afternoon, ignored a stop sign at the intersection. Southern California builds a lot of its main roads with surprisingly high crowns and low gutters on either side. The Charger was going fast enough that as it dipped through the California Avenue gutter and hit the crown, all four tires left the road — as in, a proper “Bullitt” jump without the need for San Francisco ramps or Hollywood tricks. Then, as the sedan was midair, it got hit by a Long Beach public transit bus heading east on California, the collision sending both into The Boujie Crab restaurant on the southeast corner of the intersection.
Flying car + moving bus + crab shack = a bad day for everybody.
The seafood spot was closed, thankfully. The impact injured at least 14 people, 10 of them taken to local hospitals, six in serious condition. The bus driver was one of those injured, but no one died. The Charger ended up wedged between the bus and the structure, emergency crews needing to pull the driver and passenger out. The car caught fire as it was loaded onto a flatbed trailer more than six hours later. Residents living in the apartments above the restaurant were forced to evacuate; it’s not clear for how long.
In the video above, KTLA 5 identifies a woman named Erica Hunt as the restaurant owner. We’re not sure where that identification came from; Nickey McKnight opened The Boujie Crab in 2020. McKnight told ABC 7 she wasn’t sure she’d reopen The Boujie Crab in the same location. “I have mixed feelings about this street, although I do want to stay in Long Beach,” she said. Problem is, “Some of my customers would say this [street] is like a race track because they go so fast. … Literally, you can hear the speed from inside the restaurant.” A local resident told the Long Beach Press-Telegram the same thing about speeding on South Street, “It happens all the time — people do donuts, go 60 to 70 miles per hour down the street.”