I was riding the 14-Mission during Loma Prieta

loma prieta earthquake. by joe lewis
Photo by Joe Lewis

Of all the days you could get on the wrong bus, Karla Milosevich accidentally got on an express on Oct. 17, 1989, the day that the big one hit. Today is the 25th anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake, and the website Earthquake Weather has been gathering stories about the quake. Here’s Karla’s:

I was working a temp job on the 12th floor of a downtown office on Spear Street, and had just gotten off work. I caught the 14 Mission bus to go to the café on Valencia Street where my sister worked, but accidentally boarded the express one, which was headed towards Daly City. I couldn’t get off before the freeway so I was standing in the crowded bus, holding the rail over my head, looking out the window and lamenting how much longer it was going to take me to get home.

We were stopped, waiting for a light, and then the bus kind of rolled and it sounded like metal on metal, I figured we were having an accident on the side I couldn’t see. It seemed like a car was scraping against the bus. But then I could also see a guy who had been asleep in his car– he woke up and was all startled. I was wondering about the connection because his car wasn’t touching the bus, then people started saying “Earthquake”, “That was an earthquake!”

We sat there for a few minutes, then got on the freeway anyway, business as usual. I got off as soon as I could, in the way outer Mission. Around then, all the buses stopped running, so there was no way to get back. This was before cell phones, so I started walking to the Mission. As it happened, this guy I know, Dave Cohen, happened to be driving by and gave me a ride home. That was pretty lucky! That’s when I started to hear about how much damage there was.

Were you on Muni during the ’89 earthquake? Tell your story to 1989Quake.com.

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