A 16-year-old girl is dead and another teen is in serious condition after they were struck by a car on a shopping plaza parking lot in Chatham.
The incident occurred shortly after 4 p.m. Friday in front of The Bargain Shop on Queen Street.
A car driven by a 79-year-old Chatham woman jumped the sidewalk in front of the store, pinning one victim against a plate glass window and the other beneath the wheels and undercarriage, witnesses said.
“It was a terrible sight - something I will never forget,’’ said Yvette White of Chatham, who was shopping in The Bargain Shop.
White said she heard a “big bang’’ and thought someone or something had fallen off a shelf.
“When I ran to the front of the store to see what had caused the noise I could see a woman pinned outside against the broken glass,’’ she said. “She was screaming for someone to call 911.’’
White said she attempted to keep the young woman calm until emergency help arrived.
“The poor lady,’’ she said.
Donna LaMarsh of Chatham was parked in front of the store waiting for her daughter to get off work at 4 p.m.
“I was talking out my van window to the uncle of the girl that got hit,’’ she said.
LaMarsh said that after the accident she asked the elderly driver of the car to sit and wait for police in her van.
“The poor lady was so excited she nearly passed out,’’ she said. “I had my daughter get her a bottle of water in the store.’’
LaMarsh said the driver said she had driven to the plaza to purchase groceries.
“When her son arrived at the scene she nearly passed out again,’’ she said. “They took her away by ambulance.’’
LaMarsh said it wasn’t the first time a car crashed into the store front.
“The same thing happened about a year ago but fortunately no one was injured in that incident,’’ she said.
A motorist, who would only say her name was Rose, said she pulled into the plaza lot to make a cell phone call.
She said she saw the female motorist enter the plaza lot from Tissiman Avenue and pull into the parking spot in front of the store.
She said the car appeared to stop and then lunged forward, striking the two pedestrians.
“It was a fluke thing,’’ she said. “Right away I called 911.’’
Acting Sgt. Mike Thompson of the Chatham-Kent Police Service, confirmed that one teen had died and the other was in hospital in serious condition late Friday.
In a statement issued late Friday, police said the girl in serious condition, who is also 16, has injuries to her lower body.
franki is now home, & while she will have trouble walking for awhile.. she's staying strong.
either way.. please just pray for her, & her family.. as well as cassie's family.