WESTWOOD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – – An out-of-control car slammed into the front of a Trader Joe’s supermarket in Westwood on Wednesday, pinning an employee between the vehicle and shopping cart racks, CBS 2’s Dave Carlin reported.
The accident occurred at the Irvington Street store shortly after 3 p.m.
Shopper Cindy Vakarian, who is a registered nurse, said she immediately ran out to the front of the store to help after a Toyota Camry jumped a curb.
“I was standing there starting to bag my groceries, and it was in slow-motion,” she said. “I heard a crash and a scream and a woman — top half of her and torso came through the window. And I looked over at her, and I saw a car right behind her and her leg was wedged between the car and the two metal rims that keep the carts together. Obviously, she was putting the carts back in order, and the car rammed into her.”
Police said the driver of the car was an elderly woman. They did not say if she would be charged.
“Her car lurched forward, striking the front of the store, where the shopping carts are,” said Westwood police Chief Frank Regino.
As co-workers surrounded the victim, the driver remained in her car, sitting in stunned silence, Vakarian said.
Vakarian said the victim’s leg was severed and that she instructed other witnesses to help stop the bleeding.
“I was trying to calm her, and a co-worker came over with a belt and tied a tourniquet around her leg,” Vakarian said.
The victim was transported by helicopter to Hackensack University Medical Center and was in surgery Wednesday night.
“I rushed up, and I’m pretty shaken up about it,” said another witness, Rob Messina.
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