A fire hydrant was sheared and a traffic light damaged in a solo vehicle crash Friday night at a Murrieta intersection.
The incident was reported at about 7:40 p.m. at Alta Murrieta Drive and Murrieta Hot Springs Road.
The woman driver of a white Ford ranger pickup ran into the hydrant and traffic pole to avoid hitting a car that was stopped just ahead of her in the right-hand turn lane of southbound Alta Murrieta, according to Murrieta police Sgt. Jay Froboese.
"She has a truck with brakes that don't work real well," Froboese said. "You have to pump them once or twice, according to the driver."
As she was approaching the red light at about 5 mph, she told police she saw the car in front of her and attempted to stop, forgetting she needed to pump the brakes before they take effect, Froboese said.
"She realizes she might tap that car in front of her if she doesn't make a hard right turn, so she did that instead and took out the fire hydrant and the light signal," Froboese said.
Though she avoided hitting the car in front of her, the hydrant lay under the truck and the traffic light was bent and hanging.
Murrieta fire crews responded and within about seven minutes were able to stop the water flow that was spewing onto the intersection as a result of the sheared hydrant.
"There is a turn valve located in the street and we have a tool that enables us to shut the water supply off to the hydrant," said Murrieta fire Capt. Mike Ramos. "There was quite a bit of water, a lot of water."
Motorists were diverted away from the right-hand turn lane while the scene was cleared.
The driver and her male passenger were not injured in the crash, according to Froboese.
"Their truck filled up with water, they opened the door and it was completely full, up to the windows," Froboese said.
There was no indication she was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and she was properly insured, Froboese said.
It appeared the driver—who declined to speak with Patch—had recovered some of her belongings from the truck.
The city and water district will likely file claims with the driver's insurance to recoup the cost of repairing the damaged equipment, according to Froboese.