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Update: Hit-and-run Crash Causes Gas Line Break

By Mike Watson, Producer
Chelsea KAY, @ChelseaKayTv
Published On: Dec 14 2012 07:45:05 AM CST
Updated On: Dec 14 2012 07:22:50 PM CST
Overnight Gas Leak In Redding
REDDING, Calif. -

Almost 100 homes were under voluntary evacuation orders early Friday morning after a gas line break in a Redding neighborhood.

It happened just after midnight in an east Redding neighborhood off of Churn Creek Road.

A driver in the 900 block of Partridge Drive left the road, slamming into a natural gas meter.

The driver hit a tree and clipped a garage before driving off.

Voluntary evacuation orders were issued to 96 homes.  

Crews had to dig a hole to pinch off the line and stop the leak.

Marty  lives at the home where the crash happened. He said he came home just minutes after the driver left the scene. "You always see it happen. It happens every once in a while, but you never expect it to be your own house...definitely surprising. I guess it could've been worse," he said.

The road was reopened and people were allowed to return home around 3:00 Friday morning.

We caught up with a woman who lives across the street from where it happened.

"The car was pulling back out of the house. By that time, I was at my door," said Aubrey Hollenack.  "We heard the car screeching by and saw the lights but [we weren't] able to identify it. The smell's been going down. It's been coming in waves. It was really bad when I went to inform the neighbor nearby. It was hard to breathe, you had to cover your mouth."

Police say this crash could be a DUI.

Officers found the car's broken side mirror at the scene. They said it was most likely a dark-colored Ford Mustang, between a 2005 and 2009 model, with damage to both sides.