The impact sent one vehicle into the sidewalk, he added, striking a group of people dining in a restaurant patio.
Of the 11 injured, one person was listed as in critical condition.
A preliminary investigation indicates the driver ran a red light and collided with another vehicle, police Sgt. C. Barlow said. Bystanders detained him less than a block away. According to Barlow, the as yet unidentified man was arrested on suspicion of felony hit-and-run.
He said several victims were pinned under the van as panicked witnesses rush to pull them out.
Four other transported patients were described as being in a "fair" condition. She said the driver had swerved around some cars and was suddenly there among the tables with customers under the van.
Some people were lying with broken limbs, while another bled profusely from his head under pieces of furniture and fencing.
Officials say a white van ran a red light and hurled into a group of diners in the L.A. neighborhood of Mid-Wilshire just before 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Images from the scene showed a damaged van surrounded by emergency crews with shattered fencing scattered across the pavement.