LA Fox reporter and photographer among six people struck by suspected DUI driver


A veteran Los Angeles television news reporter and his photographer were among six people who were injured on Friday when a suspected drunk driver crashed his SUV into a building along the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

At the time of the crash, FOX 11 reporter Hal Eisner had been working on a story with photojournalist Joab Perez about the famous El Capitan Theatre and Los Angeles County’s partial reopening this week, which allows for movie theaters to open at limited capacity, according to FOX 11. 

Eisner is a well-respected journalist in Los Angeles for more than 38 years. Perez has been with the station for nearly three years and welcomed his first child, a daughter, only four months ago.

Fox 11 reporter Hal Eisner

Fox 11 photographer Joab Perez

Fox 11 veteran reporter Hal Eisner (left) and his photographer Joab Perez (right) were seriously hurt when an SUV driving the wrong way along Hollywood Boulevard crashed into a building 

Eisner was conducting an interview on Friday about the reopening of El Capitan Theater on the Hollywood Walk of Fame just moments before the crash

Eisner was conducting an interview on Friday about the reopening of El Capitan Theater on the Hollywood Walk of Fame just moments before the crash 

Eisner looked at an ambulance on the left seconds before an SUV came from the opposite direction and hit him

Eisner looked at an ambulance on the left seconds before an SUV came from the opposite direction and hit him 

Images from KTLA show pedestrians coming to Eisner's aid immediately after the crash

Images from KTLA show pedestrians coming to Eisner’s aid immediately after the crash 

The long-time report is pictured above being treated by first responders at the scene

The long-time report is pictured above being treated by first responders at the scene 

The male driver, who has not been named, has been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, the Los Angeles Police Department said. He told police he fell asleep at the wheel but failed field sobriety tests.

Authorities believe he was driving while intoxicated when he drove the SUV the wrong way and jumped the curb, LAPD Capt. Brian Wendling said. The crash occurred along the Walk of Fame near the well-known intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue.

Two of the other victims were tourists from Washington, LAPD Chief Michel Moore said on Twitter. One suffered severe injuries, including broken ribs and a broken leg. The other had moderate injuries, such as lacerations and abrasions. Another pedestrian declined to be taken to the hospital. 

Moore said the victims were all listed in stable condition after the crash. All were expected to survive. 

Police say the driver of this white SUV told him he fell asleep at the wheel but failed field sobriety tests

Police say the driver of this white SUV told him he fell asleep at the wheel but failed field sobriety tests

Six people were injured when the vehicle traveling the wrong way crashed into the Highland Market on West Hollywood Boulevard

Six people were injured when the vehicle traveling the wrong way crashed into the Highland Market on West Hollywood Boulevard 

In this aerial screenshot released by FOX 11 KTTV shows Los Angeles firemen at the scene of the crash on Friday

In this aerial screenshot released by FOX 11 KTTV shows Los Angeles firemen at the scene of the crash on Friday 

The SUV crashed into a glass storefront on West Hollywood Boulevard around 3pm, striking several pedestrians, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

The reporter and photographer were among the five people taken to the hospital, the station said. At least four of them were initially considered to be in serious to critical condition, the LAFD said.

Fox 11 video showed Eisner pausing the interview he was conducting and looking at an approaching ambulance when the SUV operated by the suspected DUI driver came from the opposite direction and smashed into him and the other victims in front of Highland Market.

Speaking from his hospital bed, Perez told Fox 11 that the SUV pushed him against the front doors of the store.

Eisner is a well-respected journalist in Los Angeles for more than 38 years

Eisner is a well-respected journalist in Los Angeles for more than 38 years

Eisner suffered a fractured knee

Eisner sustained a gash to his right hand

Eisner shared photos of his injuries while being treated at the hospital. He suffered a fractured knee and a gash to his right hand

Perez, pictured with actor Danny Trejo, has been with Fox 11 for nearly three years

Perez, pictured with actor Danny Trejo, has been with Fox 11 for nearly three years 

‘And the first thing that i noticed is that i had a very hard time breathing,’ he recalled.

Perez said he forced himself to take a deep breath and lifted some debris that was pressing down on him, which allowed him to briefly get back on his feet, before collapsing again. 

He was hospitalized with multiple fractures and a broken collarbone.

Eisner shared an update about his condition on his Facebook page on Sunday, revealing that he suffered a knee fracture, a gash on his right hand and painful back spasms.

‘I’m grateful to be alive. I’m grateful for all of your heartfelt comments and the many feelings you’ve expressed since Friday’s awful auto-pedestrian crash that involved FOX11 photographer Joab Perez, myself and three other people on Hollywood Blvd,’ he wrote. ‘One of the best meds has been your caring and outreach! Thank you for your love and support!’

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