Car sideswipes several parked vehicles, careens into building

Parking lot south of an office building where a Toyota Camry struck the building and damaged several parked vehicles, St. George, Utah, Dec. 6, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A driver pulling into a parking stall Thursday stepped on the wrong pedal, damaging a building and causing chain-reaction collisions involving several other vehicles, police said.

Tow truck workers prepare to remove a Toyota Camry that struck a building and damaged several parked vehicles, St. George, Utah, Dec. 6, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

The incident was reported shortly after 11 a.m. at the parking lot of an office building at 178 N. 200 East in St. George, which houses the local offices for the Utah Division of Child and Family Services and a couple other state agencies.

“An elderly female parking her car at the DCFS building accidentally hit the gas instead of the brake,” St. George Police officer Tiffany Atkin told St. George News.

The woman’s vehicle, a dark gray Toyota Camry, went up onto the sidewalk in a tight curve, sideswiping a parked Toyota 4Runner and pushing it into a Jeep SUV in the adjacent stall.

As the Camry continued along the sidewalk at the building’s front entrance, it then struck a pillar that was holding up an awning-like entryway structure made of wood and metal and other materials, causing it to crash to the ground.

The Camry then struck a red BMW sedan, which was knocked into another vehicle parked on the other side of it. Two additional parked vehicles also were nudged aside at the end of the chain reaction.

Workers examine a damaged awning structure after a Toyota Camry struck a building and damaged several parked vehicles, St. George, Utah, Dec. 6, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

No injuries were reported. The driver of the Camry was the only occupant of her vehicle. All of the parked vehicles were unoccupied at the time except for two people who were inside the Jeep SUV.

Workers inside the building reported hearing a loud noise and coming outside to investigate.

Both the Camry and the BMW were towed from the scene but the other five vehicles involved appeared to still be operable, having sustained minor dents and scratches.

The damages to awning structure were estimated to be in excess of $1,000, police said.

Shortly after noon, workers on scene were still assessing the damage and preparing to remove the damaged structure and debris from the site.

Access to the building’s front door was blocked in the meantime, but patrons and workers were still able to access the building via a secondary entrance.

Atkin said although no citations have yet been issued, the incident is still under investigation. It did occur on private property, she noted.  

This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

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Email: jrichards@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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19 Comments

  • Kilroywashere December 6, 2018 at 6:38 pm

    Not sure what age elderly exactly refers too. But if we are talking over 80 yrs, time to surrender the keys. Remember the tragic incident that occurred in Santa Monica where an elderly man did the same thing and ran straight into a crowd of people in the downtown shopping area. TRAGIC for the victims and the driver as well. It is hard to take the keys from your parents, especially your Mom. Been there done that. But you have to do it. There is no choice. Fortunately we have Uber & Lift these days so the ramifications are not as difficult.

    • me special December 10, 2018 at 3:18 pm

      She is 50 yrs old and was on prescription drugs. She refused to give drug and alcohol test. She works for utah attorney general office.
      Whom rushed her off away from police. Not stated, I saw 2 children in one car hit.

  • Comment December 6, 2018 at 6:50 pm

    She’ll be back on the road soon, but she won’t feel safe in a midsize anymore. She’ll have to upgrade to something safer like a dodge diesel heavy duty 4×4. Then the real fun begins. 😉

    • Kilroywashere December 6, 2018 at 7:33 pm

      Positive vibration Yeeeahhh POSITIVE. – B. Marley. Then there ie Oddball re: negative vibes – from Kelly’s Heroes. Keep the faith Comment. Lol.

      • iceplant December 7, 2018 at 6:07 am

        That’s “negative waves” from Kelly’s Heroes. 😛

  • mmsandie December 6, 2018 at 8:37 pm

    How can people make a mistake with gas vs brake..my neighbor is 91 she can’t even see over the steering wheel. Not sure how she got a renewal..I knew someone who broke her ankle so she uses right foot for gas left foot for brake,, that dangerous because each side of your body is controlled by the opposite side of the brain..

    • Kilroywashere December 7, 2018 at 3:38 am

      Doesn’t matter, people who are too old to drive can still get a license etc.. And from personal experience , despite the fact they know their driving skills are declining, giving up and no longer having the freedom to get around, is like receiving a death sentence. IT IS UP TO THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY TO DO THE RIGHT THING AND TAKE THE KEYS AWAY. I’ll tell you what, it is damn hard to do, emotionally painful, and often a heartbreaking experience. But, you have to do it for the sake of your parents as much as the lives of others. Do not expect the DMV to be able to make this determination.

  • DRT December 6, 2018 at 8:41 pm

    Looks like this driver should get a re-evaluation of the driving skills.

  • utahdiablo December 6, 2018 at 10:19 pm

    Another “Open Book” at the Utah DMV huh?…and the damage estimate of excess of $1,000?….how about $40 Grand at least, you have at least two totaled cars, and all the other fender benders in the lot and the awning and the signage ….better have deep pockets Lady

    • me special December 10, 2018 at 3:23 pm

      Damage is over about $100k vehicles are not cheap. It helps to be state employee. As she is.

  • KR567 December 6, 2018 at 11:27 pm

    Typical traffic day in St George

  • mshaw December 7, 2018 at 4:42 am

    She probably was texting while driving

    • me special December 10, 2018 at 3:23 pm

      No she was on prescription drugs.

  • justsaying December 7, 2018 at 7:50 am

    Another St. George car accident story. How about some real news?

  • Comment December 7, 2018 at 11:33 am

    it’s quite a surprising amount of damage to be caused by a camry. and it looks like it’s not a v6 camry? The problem with senile or extremely aged drivers is when they make a mistake like “hitting the wrong pedal” they panic. So rather than remove the foot from “the wrong pedal” they panic and hammer it down all the way and then hold it down. They don’t have the reflexes and their brains don’t work quickly enough to correct for a mistake like that. I’m surprised we don’t have more of these around town, with all these blue-hairs cruising around.

    • me special December 10, 2018 at 3:24 pm

      She’s only 50yrs old.

  • Trevor December 7, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    Another right foot pedal error, part of the right foot braking epidemic? Happens to all ages and gender. But let’s make sure we blame the driver, especially if they are a women or old (over 40!). Never blame the guys in charge of driver legislation and training who set the driver up to fail. They forced this driver to brake an automatic transmission or electric vehicle with only the right foot. They did this knowing they had 0 Scientific Justification and that right foot braking is too complicated and difficult to mentally maintain with age, dangerously inefficient, (poor stopping distance) and even more dangerous, (subject to right foot pedal error) compared to the simpler and safer left foot braking method. See DOT HS 811 597, 812 058 and 812 431 (spaces required). NHTSA refuses to use the term “right foot pedal errors” but instead calls it “pedal misapplication” and always blames the drivers for not being experts. Score to date, 150,000 dead (19 Every Day), millions injured, and billions in costs. The price male drivers, both in and out of government, are prepared to pay to maintain their systemic belief in a “Killer” braking method based on the scientific foundation of, “That’s the way it’s always been taught”! This is not about which braking method is safer but rather why they refuse to scientifically compare the two methods and continue to produce misinformation about other proposed braking methods. Was it driver error or the way we taught them to brake?

    • Comment December 7, 2018 at 6:30 pm

      This guy reminds me of that anti-mountain-bike lunatic that pops up every so often. This guy pops up when articles about gas/brake pedal errors are posted. Do these guys just creep the site constantly and just lie in wait for their preferred types of articles to troll or what? It’s actually really creepy, LOL.

      Maybe people can be trained to actually let their foot off the gas instead of panicking and slamming it down? I’ve tried your left foot braking thing before and it’s pretty trippy; not easy to do.

      Maybe there’s something to it, who knows…… 😉

  • me special December 10, 2018 at 3:28 pm

    If this was one of her clients. They would have been arrested on the spot. Then tested for drugs then alcohol.

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