Car crashes into Ikea in East Palo Alto

No injuries reported; gas line ruptured

The driver of a black Ford Mustang that ended up off the roadway and crashed into the exterior of the Ikea store parking garage walked away without injuries on March 13, 2018. Image courtesy Dave Lundy.

A car crashed into the Ikea store in East Palo Alto on Tuesday morning, resulting in a gas leak and brief shelter-in-place order for customers, East Palo Alto police said.

The crash was reported around 11:45 a.m. and ruptured a gas line at the store, which is located at 1700 E. Bayshore Road, Cmdr. Jeff Liu said. There were no reported injuries and a shelter-in-place order was issued until the gas line was secured, he added.

A man lost control of his Ford Mustang while heading south on Bayshore Road away from University Avenue, ran over the sidewalk and crashed into the first floor of the Ikea parking garage about 100 yards before the entrance, said acting Battalion Chief Chris Pimentel of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District.

The crash damaged a gas line at the parking structure, leading the driver to flee from the vehicle out of fear the vehicle would "blow up," Pimentel said.

Bayshore Road was briefly closed to traffic while PG&E personnel was called to the scene, according to Pimentel. The gas line was secured around 12:20 p.m.

Ikea customers in the garage and store were guided to the west end of the store a floor above the garage structure while gas was leaking, Pimentel said. The business manager and building engineer were also alerted to the crash and leak.

The driver didn't report any injuries and stayed at the scene, Pimentel said.

The Mustang was left with moderate damage and had to be towed away, the battalion chief said.

The crash has left Ikea without gas service until the business repairs the damaged distribution line, which the company owns and is connected to the main Ikea building, PG&E spokeswoman Mayra Tostado said. No other customers lost service as a result of the crash.

PG&E will reconnect Ikea to the utility service's system once the business completes repairs to the line, Tostado said. There was no estimate of when service will be restored.

IKEA said in a statement that store operations were suspended for less than 20 minutes, and the building sustained minor external damage to the gas pipe, gas meter and landscaping.

"The safety of IKEA customers and co-workers is always our highest priority. With regard to the reported incident at IKEA East Palo Alto on Tuesday morning, no customers or co-workers were harmed. Thanks to the quick response from the local authorities and utilities company, announcements were made directing customers and co-workers to gather in a designated zone. ... Following the incident, local authorities resolved the issue and the store resumed normal operations."


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11 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 13, 2018 at 3:28 pm

I bet he owns an iphone. Just saying.

11 people like this
Posted by Driver behavior is not the problem?
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 14, 2018 at 11:44 am

Driver behavior is not the problem? is a registered user.

Drivers, please adjust your speed to road conditions. Pay attention. Turn off your phones when you drive. The person you kill might be yourself...or an entire store full of people if a gas leak turns into an explosion.

Driving is a privilege and an awesome responsibility. It is not a right. We don't know why this driver lost control, but we can all help to reduce incidents like this by being more careful to obey the law and be fully attentive when we drive.

Shaving a minute or two off your trip is not worth risking lives.

1 person likes this
Posted by TorreyaMan
a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 14, 2018 at 5:28 pm

TorreyaMan is a registered user.

Did I miss something? Was a phone mentioned in the article? Particularly an IPhone?

Like this comment
Posted by Giddy'up Pony
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 14, 2018 at 6:13 pm

I wonder if he was pulling out of the Ravenswood Shopping Center and might of been going a tad faster than he was supposed to causing him to fishtail.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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