PALM COAST, Fla. –
The Florida Highway Patrol has charged a 76-year-old woman who drove her car through a busy Publix grocery store, injuring ten people, including a baby in a stroller.
Officers charged Thelma Wagenhoffer of Palm Coast with careless driving after she slammed her 2004 Toyota Camry through the front door of the Publix at 4950 Belle Terre Pkwy. on Saturday. Investigators said they found no apparent problems with the car’s brakes. Witnesses said the car appeared to be going about 50 miles per hour. Now, she’ll have to explain to a judge what went wrong and has a mandatory court appearance set due to the severity of the injuries.
Surveillance Video: Car crashes into…
Also, for the first time, authorities released 911 calls and store security footage of the dramatic crash. On the calls to police, screaming is heard in the background and witnesses describe the aftermath.
CALLER: Oh my God.
DISPATCH: You said the driver’s okay, correct?
CALLER: Yes, ma’am, but there’s a person pinned under the car.
DISPATCH: You said somebody’s pinned?
CALLER: Yes, ma’am.
DISPATCH: Alright. Stay on the phone with me, alright? You’re doing fine. Stay on the phone with me for a minute.
An 83-year-old man was pinned under the car. Store customers and employees lifted the car to free the man who was trapped under it. Donna Switzer just learned Lupo Hernandez, who remains in stable condition at the hospital, is her neighbor.
“That lady shouldn’t have been driving and you’ve got to feel bad for her. You know she feels bad,” said Switzer.
Wagenhoffer’s neighbors said she normally drives well, and while she didn’t answer the door for reporters, they said she’s talked to them.
“Yeah its bad it’s a bad deal its really got her tore up,” said one man who did not want to be identified. “She never said a word. I don’t think she knows what happened to tell you the truth. I think she just had a bad experience, bad accident, bad day.”