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Car Splits in Two and Nearly Crashes Into Someone’s Tent: The Everyday Dangers Faced By Unhoused People on the Streets

12:05 PM PST on December 24, 2018

    [dropcap size=big]A[/dropcap]t 7:20 on Saturday morning, a $260,000 sports car racing south down La Brea Avenue in Mid-City split a utility pole and itself in two. Half of the car hugged the corner of La Brea and 12th street, the other half crashed into an ivy wall on the southwest corner.

    I caught the aftermath of the wreck a few hours later while on my way to work.  It was the type of scene that makes you count your blessings and wonder if the people involved made it out alive. But what stood out to me the most was the tent sitting less than a foot away from the yellow caution tape along the ivy wall.

    Saturday afternoon, the LAPD acknowledged the accident on their Twitter page and let the public know that the driver survived the crash. I was shocked. "A friendly reminder — it’s the value of human life that has no price tag," the police said. But they forgot to point out the innocent life that was most at risk in this case – the unhoused person in the tent.

    [dropcap size=big]R[/dropcap]eckless driving is just one example of the many threats that the unhoused face while living on the streets. Back in April, a homeless man was killed in Venice when an SUV drove the wrong way on a one-way street and ran over a man sleeping on the street in the process.

    In September, the city saw a ruthless string of murders of homeless people by a man known as the Baseball Bat Killer. Earlier this month, a man believed to be living in his car in Pacoima was killed in a hit-and-run. And as recently as this week, the LAPD released a video of a homeless person being stabbed to death by a white male in downtown .

    RELATED: Pacoima Hit-And-Run: Man Loses His Job, His Condo, and Then His Life While Sleeping in His Car

    Last year, more than 700 homeless people died on the streets, many from preventable circumstances. The threat of danger for the unhoused is very real but the options to stay safe are slim.

    The next day, I drove back to the scene of the accident to take some photos and the tent was in the same exact place it was the day before.  How would you react if someone almost drove through your bedroom?

    RELATED: Murdering a Homeless Person Should Be a Hate Crime, City Council Says

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