Driver Plunges Car through Playa del Rey Gym

By Gary Walker

Photos by Kristen Watson Greulach

Early morning hours during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend are typically slow at Real Fitness in Playa del Rey. For that, co-owner Peter Rizzardi is actually thankful — at least this year.

At just before 9 a.m. Saturday (Nov. 25), Real Fitness was practically empty when a white pickup truck speeding eastbound on Manchester Avenue crashed right through the gym’s southern wall. A circuit training class had finished less than 10 minutes before the collision.

“The Saturday before [the crash] there were 10 to 15 people in here at that time of day,” said Real Fitness co-owner Peter Rizzardi. “It’s normally pretty busy at that time.”

The gym’s security video shows a man standing in the path of destruction seconds before the truck plowed through the wall, sending debris flying.

Witnesses have told Rizzardi they estimate the truck was traveling as fast as 50 miles per hour.

“A medical emergency was the contributing factor” that caused the driver to crash, said LAPD Capt. James Setzer, the commander at Pacific Division station.

Setzer said the driver was not arrested but was taken to a local hospital with minor injuries.

Rizzardi doesn’t yet have an estimate of how much it will cost to repair his wall.

“I’m glad that no one was hurt,” he said.