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Runaway Bus : Poker Party Crashed; All Hands Safe

October 20, 1987|BOB POOL | Times Staff Writer

Edith Oseransky was dealt a full house that she didn't want Monday during a weekly poker game with friends at her Northridge home.

An 11 1/2-ton RTD bus plowed into her house and crashed to a stop a few steps from her poker table, sending Oseransky and her friends fleeing out the front door.

No one was seriously hurt in the late-morning accident, blamed by police on a motorist who allegedly ran a red light and hit the side of the bus to send it careening out of control.

Flushed Out

But there were seven poker players around Oseransky's card table who were royally flushed from their chairs when the crash shook the house and rattled furniture in a cloud of plaster dust.

"It sounded like an explosion. We all ran out," said shaken player Christina Drummen, 52, of Tarzana. "I took my cards because I was winning at the time."

After the collision, the bus jumped a curb and crashed through two Slumpstone walls before severing a thick Italian cypress tree and shearing off the corner of Oseransky's house. Passenger Todd Lantz, 14, a Nobel Junior High School student, compared it to a roller-coaster ride.

Door Jammed Shut

Bus driver Carl Strozier, 50, labored a few minutes to force open a rear door jammed shut by other trees, then freed himself and two uninjured passengers, Todd and Ronald Miller, both of Reseda.

The car, driven by Peggy Burke, 78, of Sepulveda, skidded across Lassen Street at the intersection of Vanalden Avenue after hitting the bus, police said.

Rescuers took Burke and her husband, Lewis, 86, to a nearby hospital. Her husband was released, but Burke was sent later to her regular hospital for observation, hospital officials said.

The crash demolished the bedroom of Tom Oseransky, 23, despite a "do not disturb" sign on his door.

"It's a good thing I didn't sleep in today," he said after inspecting roofing beams and hunks of wall that collapsed onto his bed.

Poker player Tara Eisner, 46, of Encino said participants in the 5-year-old floating card game may want the ante upped before they gamble on returning to Oseransky's house.

"Two months ago when we were here playing a lady hit a bicycle rider out front," Eisner said. "We went out and helped the rider."

Said player Evelyn Johnson, 75, of Sherman Oaks, with a poker face: "We have exciting games at Edith's house."

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