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Bystanders Pull Boys Out of Pacoima Wash

December 11, 1996|JOSE CARDENAS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

PACOIMA — Two 11-year-old boys suffered minor injuries after floating two miles down the Pacoima Wash in Tuesday's rainstorm, which also closed streets and caused traffic accidents ranging from fender-benders to truck collisions.

"They were real lucky," said Bob Collis, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department. "Little guys get attracted to water and they don't realize how dangerous it is."

The boys were seen in the wash at Laurel Canyon Boulevard at about 4:40 p.m., Collis said.

He said the area where the boys fell in is fenced and the boys probably jumped over to look at the wash. "You don't just fall in the water," Collis said. "You have to make an effort."

One of the boys fell in and the other was dragged in as he tried to help the first one, according to authorities. The two were pulled out by bystanders at Arleta Avenue and Paxton Street, Collis said.

The Fire Department dispatched two swift-water rescue teams--equipped with jet skis and accompanied by a helicopter--but they arrived just in time to hear the bystanders ask: "Are you looking for these two boys?" Collis said.

The boys were taken to Providence Holy Cross Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries, authorities said.

Meanwhile, vehicle accidents in the San Fernando Valley had dropped to average levels Tuesday, the LAPD's Valley Traffic Division reported.

However, two large trucks collided on the Golden State Freeway near Newhall in the morning--halting traffic for several hours while workers unloaded hydrogen peroxide from one truck.

Elsewhere, streets in the Sepulveda Dam Recreation Area--including Woodley Avenue and Victory Boulevard, Burbank Boulevard at the San Diego Freeway and Burbank Boulevard at Hayvenhurst Avenue--remained closed due to flooding behind the dam and may be reopened today, authorities said.

Tuesday's heavy rain was likely to be the last of the storm, said Curtis Brack, a meteorologist with WeatherData Inc., which provides forecasts to The Times.

Light showers are expected to give way to partly cloudy skies on Wednesday, and sunshine will return Thursday, he said.

"The rest of the storm should stay to the north," he said. "It should be sunny in L.A. going into the weekend."

Times staff writer Andrew Blankstein contributed to this story.

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