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Hillcrest sign victim of hit-and-run

The pillars that hold up the historic Hillcrest sign cause damage to hit-and-run U-Haul truck.
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The Hillcrest sign was the victim of a hit and run accident Monday night reports the San Diego Police Department.

Witness to the incident, Derrick Roach watched as a U-Haul truck driven by two men slammed into the historic sign's supporting pole at 5th and University in front of Union Bank. 

"It made a huge noise when it hit,” said Roach. 

Both he and his friend Randy Shells were extremely close to the sign when the collision occurred.

“Both of us were standing there when the truck came up on the sidewalk,” he said. “I had to provide info to the police and a description of the occupants that fled.”

Roach says the two men grabbed some items out of the cab before fleeing the scene. In the cargo area were mattresses, a briefcase and a duffle bag.

Roach doesn’t think the sign is damaged and the City has already come out to inspect it. “It's a sturdy sign,” he said. “You can tell by the damage to the U-Haul.”

Shells took a picture (left) with the dented truck showing just how much damage the sign inflicted to the front end. 

Roach says despite the whimsical nature of the picture things could have been a lot worse. 

"I always see people waiting on that corner to cross," he said. "If I had been a couple seconds earlier I would have been standing in that exact spot. I would have been splattered against the Hillcrest sign."

The two male occupants fled on foot north on Fifth Avenue toward Washington Street.

We reached out to the San Diego Police Department, but they were unable to give us any details about the perpetrators at this time.

The historic sign was first erected in 1940. The signature 55-foot red poles that now support it were put into place in 1984 with the lower 15-feet of each pole embedded into a 3,200 pound cement foundation.