Car accelerates into Lents Mini Mart

Witnesses say this elderly driver was driving “out of control” when she plowed into the convenience store. See why they say it most likely wasn’t the pouring rain at the time that caused this smashup …

This car accelerated through the store window, witnesses say.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
On January 24th, a drenching rainstorm darkened the afternoon sky, making it look like twilight — even though it was just a little past 2:00 p.m., when police responded to a single car accident at SE 82nd Avenue and SE Flavel Street.

“I was waiting for a bus,” related witness Reg Whittaker. “This car made a turn and the driver stepped on the gas. The engine roared – as much as it could, for a small car – and it ran right into the market. No brake lights or anything.”

A wrecker crew member directs the winch operator, as the car is pulled away from the store.

The result was obvious. A blue, late model Kia Sephia sedan had jumped the curb and smashed the plate glass windows on the south side of the Bi-Lo Mini Mart.

It appeared as if only the heavy metal security bars had prevented the vehicle from shooting deep into the store.

This crash gave folks, inside and out at the convenience store, a real surprise.

“An old-looking woman got out of the car,” Whittaker said. “She was saying she was sure she was on the brake, not the gas pedal.”

According to Portland Police Bureau Public Information Officer Sgt. Peter Simpson, she was wrong about that.

But, no citations were issued. “It was an accident,” he added.

Untangling the car from the store turned out to be more complicated than originally thought.

© 2012 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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