Pizza delivery man takes to skateboard to deliver pizzas amid Santa Cruz Mountains mudslides
LOS GATOS, Calif. (KTVU) - LOS GATOS, Calif. (KTVU) Recent mudslide-induced traffic tie-ups on Highway 17 may have created a South Bay folk hero.
A young man used creativity to solve a problem, and serve his customer's needs.
Pizza delivery driver Daniel Christjensen usually sits behind the wheel while making drops.
But his love of skateboarding, not driving, wound up paying dividends last Wednesday.
"I got called in to come into work because there was a gridlock downtown," said Christjensen.
The trouble for Pizza My Heart and other downtown businesses came from rain-induced mudslides along Highway 17.
The roadway was close intermittently, creating an hours-long traffic back-up stretching into Los Gatos.
Christjensen, unable to make deliveries by car, turned to his trusty longboard.
"It was fun, you know? All the streets were kind of locked down, so the opposite side of the street was open for me to longboard. And I had totally open spaces and I could just go about my business."
His creativity salvaged what would have been a slow night, and less dough for the pizzeria.
It's great. We're dedicated because we want to get pizza to people," said Pizza My Heart supervisor Connor Arburn.
Drivers were stuck for up to five hours so Christjensen's deliveries were very much appreciated by customers on the road. The customers called in their orders with their vehicle make and model so he could skateboard by with a pie.
A pair of motorists in particular were in need of food.
"He was complaining that he was really hungry and I kept thinking, what is around," said Redwood Estates resident Laura Quenneville-Brown.
Her son Blaze hadn't had a bite since lunch. Quenneville-Brown considered walking half a mile back to get pizza, but she's a surrogate and nine months pregnant.
After a quick call Christjensen jumped on his board and delivered a pie.
"I can't explain the joy when he came up on his long-board with that pizza and four things of ranch dressing. I can't tell you," said Quenneville-Brown.
Some are even calling Christjensen 'Pizza Claus.'