An elderly driver’s car apparently lost control and plowed through a west-end bus shelter yesterday, killing one woman and injuring two other people.
Witnesses to the collision that happened shortly before noon at the Lincoln Fields plaza said the 84-year-old driver of a grey 2007 Toyota Corolla was backing out of a parking spot when she appeared to lose control of the vehicle and crashed through the bus shelter, smashing the structure and striking some of the people inside.
Wal-Mart employee Simon Benoit was in the parking lot collecting shopping carts at the time and said it appeared to him as if the car’s accelerator had jammed.
“She backed right through the bus shelter,” he said. “I’ve never seen someone peel out backwards so fast.”
Benoit said he could see three people in the shelter when the car hit it, crashed through, then came to rest against Susan Barkley’s red van, parked one spot away from the shelter.
Barkley was sitting in her van during her cigarette break and said she had just closed the door to her vehicle before the collision.
“There was glass flying. I heard a woman screaming. I could hear a baby crying and people … just people everywhere,” she said.
A 66-year-old woman died. An 89-year-old woman suffered minor injuries and a 77-year-old man was taken to hospital, where he remained yesterday in stable condition.
From her driver’s seat, Barkley said she could see a woman trapped in the wreckage of the shelter.
“I thought, ‘Oh my God!’ I knew that was it for her. I mean, she turned blue,” she said. “It’s going to take a couple of hours before I calm down.”
The female driver was not injured. Barkley said she appeared shaken up, and did not get out of the car for some time after the crash. – firstname.lastname@example.org