NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Five people were injured, one seriously, when a vehicle slammed into a Pathmark store in Flushing, Queens.
The accident happened at 6:07 p.m. at the Pathmark at 31-06 Farrington St. in Queens, officials told CBS2. The white sport-utility vehicle involved in the accident slammed through the front of the building and barreled through the produce section, CBS2’s Jessica Schneider reported.
Officials told WCBS 880 the driver involved was a 72-year-old woman.
A photo from the NYPD 109th Precinct showed the vehicle in the middle of the store, with white bricks mangled shopping carts and other items strewn on the ground. The vehicle’s hood was also mangled and wrecked.
CBS2’s Jessica Schneider talked exclusively with Ray Hernandez, who was in the checkout line at the time of the accident, and suffered injuries.
“I’m just all bruised up and, you know, that’s it, and all bloodied up, and my leg, and bleeding,” Hernandez said. “But I’m OK, thank god.”
Hernandez did not even know it was a vehicle at first.
“Boom – I was thrown against the frozen foods. I saw the ceiling coming down, and the floor just, you know, exploding, and that’s how it went down,” he said.
Hernandez said he heard the sound of the SUV crashing through the glass at the front of the store, and got caught up in the chaos. He had blood on his shirt from a cashier who he said took a serious hit to his head.
When the scene calmed down, Hernandez had only one thought.
“I knew that I was alive,” he said. “Just in that one second I said, ‘I’m alive, I’m alive.’”
Hernandez came back Tuesday night to pick up his car from the parking lot, and plenty of people were counting their blessings after quite a scare.
Derica Dower saw the SUV zip by her in the parking lot.
“Very close — I jumped out the way,” she said. “She came down the aisle and she went straight through, and I just jumped out the way.”
Dower said the vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed.
“She just came straight at the building,” she said. “And I jumped out the way, and she went straight in the building – 50 miles per hour, straight.”