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Contractor struck by alleged drunk driver near LAX Sepulveda tunnel

Authorities respond to the scene of an accident near the Sepulveda Boulevard tunnel to LAX after a Los Angeles Public Works contractor was struck by a suspected drunk driver Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013.
November 7, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
A Los Angeles Public Works contractor with the Bureau of Street Lighting was hit by a suspected drunk driver near the Sepulveda Boulevard tunnel to LAX Thursday. The incident caused major traffic delays.

The victim, a Best Electric employee, was working on a street lighting rehabilitation project when he was struck around 4:30 a.m. He was thrown several feet into the road. His shoes were found 30 feet away.

"His shoes are at the scene, so at the very minimum, he got knocked out of his shoes," said Los Angeles Police Sgt. Joel Sydanmaa.

The contractor was transported to UCLA Medical Center in critical condition.

Officials say he suffered multiple injuries including two broken bones and a concussion but has since improved to serious, but stable condition. He is expected to survive.

Police say he's lucky to be alive.

"If you look at the damage to the truck and to the vehicle he was in and the construction sign that they were towing, it's pretty extensive," said Sydanmaa.

Officials said they hired the injured victim's company, Gardena-based Best Electric, to convert high voltage street lighting to low voltage lights.

The worker had just finished for the night and was picking up cones when he was hit. Two of his co-workers were in a nearby pick-up truck but were not hurt.

The suspected drunk driver, identified as 30-year-old Devin Scott Enderle, was not injured in the crash. Enderle was immediately taken into custody.

The westbound 105 Freeway exit at Sepulveda Boulevard was closed following the crash.

Only one lane of traffic was open in the northbound and southbound lanes of Sepulveda Boulevard between Century Boulevard and Imperial Highway.

Drivers were urged to take the 405 Freeway to Century Boulevard or exit Nash Street off the 105 Freeway.

Some travelers were seen approaching the airport on foot with their baggage in tow.

The traffic accident was cleared around 11 a.m.

CORRECTION: It was initally reported that the victim was a Caltrans worker. Eyewitness News has since learned the victim is a Los Angeles Public Works contractor with the Bureau of Street Lighting.


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