A 53-year-old woman who possibly thought she was getting on the freeway drove her Mercedes into a concrete-lined tributary of the L.A. River today and continued going at freeway speeds, police told the Weekly. It all happened …

… about 11 a.m. today, Sgt. Tom Lorenz of Glendale police says.

The unidentified woman drove through a service entrance of the Verdugo Wash at Glenoaks Boulevard and Kenilworth Road in Glendale.

View River Run in a larger map

She ended up at San Fernando Road (near Grange Street), Lorenz said, nearly a quarter-mile away.

And maintenance workers who watched her drive into the wash estimated she was humming along at freeway speeds — of 60 to 70 miles per hour.

Why the Mercedes C-Class stopped is anyone's guess. It might have given out after she drove down the third or fourth of a series of steps that measure more than a foot high: Lorenz told us the next one would have been an 8-footer. And then the river.

Officers who responded to the scene say the woman told them she thought she was getting on the freeway (the 134 runs parallel to the wash). Lorenz says she might have been headed to church.

The woman complained of back pain and was being treated at Glendale Adventist Medical Center. Lorenz:

We did evaluate her for drugs and alcohol and determined she wasn't under the influence of either.

He called the driver's actions “inexplicable.”

Remember this episode the next time a middle-aged woman in a Mercedes cuts you off and you mumble to yourself, What was she thinking? The answer is, Nobody knows.

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

LA Weekly