A KTTV, Fox 11 news reporter and photographer were among five people injured Friday in Hollywood, when a suspected drunk driver slammed into a storefront and struck pedestrians standing outside.
The Los Angeles Fire Department posted a message on Twitter at 3:22 p.m., saying it was responding to a “physical rescue” at 6818 Hollywood Blvd. Moments earlier, a white SUV had plowed into a crowd of people on the sidewalk in front of Highland Market in the tourist-heavy neighborhood
The victims were rushed to a nearby trauma center. Four people were listed in serious to critical condition, police said. Their injuries were not life-threatening. A fifth person declined to be taken to the hospital.
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Among the injured were veteran Fox 11 news reporter Hal Eisner and his photographer Joab Perez. The TV station reported the news crew was in Hollywood covering the reopening of El Capitan Theatre and the return of tourism after a year of COVID-19 closures.
Eisner is a fixture in the Los Angeles market and has been covering news here for 38 years, the station’s website said. In addition to reporting, Eisner hosts FOX 11 News in Depth and the podcast “What the Hal?” He also hosts an two-day journalism boot camp each December, for college students hoping to become reporters and news anchors.
During Fox 11’s 5 p.m. newscast Friday, reporter Koco McAboy provided a live report from Hollywood Boulevard. As McAboy described the traumatic scene, she became emotional and needed a moment to regain her composure. She later apologized and said, “I love my colleagues. You hate to hear something like this happening to them.”
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Highland Market is located across the street from the Hollywood & Highland complex, home of the Academy Awards. There are normally LAPD squad cars parked up and down the street in the busy tourist zone, and officers were able to immediately respond.
The Los Angeles Police Department did not immediately identify the driver, but said he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.
The man told police he fell asleep at the wheel just before slamming into the pedestrians. Police told Fox 11 the driver failed a field sobriety test.