California woman blames Toyota brake failure for crash

A Hanford, Calif., woman is in a Fresno hospital recovering from injuries she says she suffered when her Toyota's brakes failed and the minivan slammed into the side of a truck.

Lynda Bisseger, 60, said this morning that she broke both feet in the accident Saturday. She said she was taking her usual route to the Seventh Day Adventist church she attends when the brakes on the 2008 Sienna minivan failed at a stop sign at the intersection of Grangeville Boulevard and 15th Street, just west of Hanford.

The minivan caught fire after striking the truck, and a passerby carried her to safety, Bissenger said. Her husband, David Beardsley, and the couple's grandson managed to get out of the minivan, she said.

Bisseger said she broke her feet pushing against the brake pedal, and that surgeons at Saint Agnes Medical Center repaired her feet using metal plates.

In Hanford, California Highway Patrol spokesman Jerry Pierce said crash is under investigation. He said Bisseger told the CHP officer at the crash scene that the Sienna's brakes failed. Pierce said the investigation may be complicated because of the fire, which can damage or destroy evidence.

Brian Lyons, a spokesman for Toyota Motor Corp., said the company Toyota will assist in the investigation if they are asked to by the CHP.

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