It was about 3:45 p.m. Monday when Ron Ross told his wife to call 911.
Outside their Angelino Heights home off Douglas Street and Calumet Avenue, a chaotic scene was unfolding.
A geyser of water was shooting into the air, flooding the sidewalk. A postal truck lay on its side. And its driver, a petite woman who had been on the job only since May, was injured, bloodied and pinned underneath.
And off to the side, according to witnesses, stood a 13-year-old boy who police later said was responsible for it all.
"It was like something from a movie," said Rita Olivera Ross, the 32-year Angelino Heights resident who dialed 911. "There's this young Latina, and this truck is on top of her. It was a really bad scene."
It took about six residents to lift the truck and free the woman, whom Ron Ross affectionately calls "Running Girl" because of how quickly she moves from house to house.
According to police, the incident began when the boy took his sister's gray Nissan Frontier pickup truck for a joy ride. As he drove westbound on Calumet toward Douglas, police say the postal worker, who was heading southbound, saw the truck heading straight for her and braced for impact.
The collision crushed the front of the pickup and sent the woman tumbling out of the postal truck and onto the pavement. The truck rolled onto its right side, landing on the woman's lower half, said Los Angeles Police Officer Norma Eisenman.
Officials said the woman suffered "multiple spinal fractures," a dislocated hip and cuts to the head.
"I thought she was dead," Ron Ross said.
The woman, whom U.S. Postal Service officials declined to identify, was recovering at USC Medical Center, police said.
The boy was arrested on suspicion of felony hit-and-run and then released to his parents, Eisenman said. He will probably appear in a juvenile court this week.