first_imgSAUGUS – Less than an hour after children walking to school had filled the sidewalks Tuesday, a driverless utility truck careened down a Saugus hill, crashing into a parked car and destroying the garage of a home in the quiet neighborhood. A 5-ton bobtail utility truck owned by Tidwell Excavating had been parked on Catala Avenue as crews worked with a Southern California Edison crew on a cable-splicing job. Shortly before 9 a.m., the truck rolled swiftly downhill, ending up partly inside the garage of the house on the corner of Catala and Melodi Lane, in the 27000 block. “It was parked for an hour before this,” driver Leonel Melchor said. “I set the brake, but something happened.” Sheriff’s officers are investigating what caused the truck to roll by itself. Neighbors said they thought the crashing sounds they heard as the truck zoomed down the street, crashing into curbside trash cans, were from trash trucks. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREFrumpy Middle-aged Mom: My realistic 2020 New Year’s resolutions. Some involve doughnuts.“It was quite the loud crash,” James Deruvo said. “It sounded like someone was carelessly dropping things in the street.” A neighbor said he had just placed some items in his curbside recycling bin when the truck careened into his yard, upending trash barrels and leaving deep tire marks across the lawn before crashing into Mandi and Brent Sheftzs’ BMW, parked in their driveway next door. The truck partially upended the auto, then plowed into the garage and the house, where it came to rest. “I heard the truck noise and looked up as it came by,” the neighbor said. “It’s really lucky that this happened when it did; the street is packed between 7 and 8 every morning with kids going to school.” Mandi Sheftz, called at work by neighbors, was shocked by the damage to her home. “I called our insurance company and they just told me to get reports and pictures,” she said. “I don’t think they have any idea of how bad this is.” Crews from The Gas Co. shut off the natural gas because the truck was resting on the gas line leading into the home. Because of the significant damage to the house, city officials were reluctant to remove the truck immediately, fearing that the garage and part of the house might collapse. Officials from the city walked through the house to make sure the structure was safe for the Sheftzs to go inside. carol.rock@dailynews.com (661)257-5252160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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