Elderly driver launches SUV into 7-Eleven store

See why it was lucky that no one was injured in this odd crash …

Portland Fire & Rescue firefighters from Engine 11 tape off the accident scene, after this SUV plowed into a 7-Eleven Store at S.E. 82nd and Flavel.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The patron of a convenience store scared the daylights out of shoppers and bystanders on Thursday, September 8, when he plowed his SUV into the front of the 7-Eleven convenience store on SE 82nd Avenue at SE Flavel Street, at about 10:15 a.m.

“He started up his car, and put it to gear, and just stepped on the gas,” recounted eyewitness Roberta Mallory, who said she works nearby and had just come by for a cup of coffee.

The manager of the store takes a photo to document the damage caused by the errant SUV.

“It all happened so fast – the way he hit the gas, if he’d been in reverse I think he would’ve shot out into 82nd Avenue and maybe hurt somebody,” Mallory exclaimed. “I’m still startled, and kind of shaking, from watching this happen right in front of me.”

Portland Fire & Rescue Engine 11 firefighter-paramedics helped the driver out of the silver Subaru Forester PZEV and took him to sit in a waiting ambulance, before stringing caution tape around the scene.

Portland Police Bureau East Precinct officer Mark DeLong takes notes for his accident report.

Portland Police Bureau East Precinct officer Mark DeLong said, “An elderly person was shopping at this 7-Eleven Store. Witnesses say he got into his car, and drove into the store.”

The driver told medical personnel he generally has his wife drive him, although not this time – and he wanted to shop here, on his way to a medical appointment.

“It doesn’t appear as if the driver was injured,” DeLong said, “Nor were there any customer injuries inside the store.”

It is not clear if the driver had had a medical issue which caused the incident, or if he had just become confused and stepped on the gas instead of the brake.

Observing how far the Subaru traveled into the store, police commented it was fortunate that no customers were standing in that spot at the time.

© 2011 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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