Mail truck wreckage
Firefighters examine the wreckage of the mail truck. Courtesy OnScene.TV

Authorities Tuesday sought two suspects seen running from a red 2017 Audi involved in a hit-and-run crash that sent a U.S. Postal Service big rig over the side of the southbound Harbor (110) Freeway in South Los Angeles, critically injuring the truck driver.

The crash occurred near Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard about 8:30 p.m. Monday when the driver of the Audi “made an unsafe turning movement to the right” and crashed into the truck. The impact caused the semi driver to lose control of the truck and hit the right shoulder wall, then travel up and over the wall until the truck landed on its side near the intersection of 37th and Flower streets, near the University of Southern California campus, below the freeway, according to Officer B. Hernandez of the California Highway Patrol.

“Immediately after the collision, both the male driver of the red Audi and its male passenger fled the collision scene on foot,” Hernandez said.

A description of the suspects was not immediately available.

CHP Capt. David Dashiell told reporters at the scene witnesses said the Audi was driving at speeds of over 100 mph prior to the crash.

The Los Angeles Fire Department reported a second vehicle was also involved in the crash.

The postal service truck driver, identified by the CHP as 59-year-old Rafael Uriarte of Long Beach, became unconscious and was trapped in his truck’s cab for about 10 minutes before emergency crews freed him and took him to a hospital in critical condition, the LAFD’s Brian Humphrey said.

No one else was injured in the collision, according to Humphrey.

The crash left letters and packages in the street. Other postal vehicles were brought in to collect the items.

Anyone who witnessed this hit-and-run crash was asked to call Officer R. Gomez at the Central Los Angeles area CHP office at 213-744-2331.

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