LOS ANGELES, CA – An elderly driver identified as Irene Minner, 85 from Pasadena, lost control of her car and knocked over a fire hydrant before barreling into a group of churchgoers today, injuring at least 30.
The accident happened at approximately 12:15pm, as people were congregating outside the Calvary Assembly of Christ’s Ascension.
According to eyewitnesses, the driver suddenly veered off the road, and then slowly rolled toward a large group of people dressed in their Sunday best, as water from the gushing hydrant flooded the area. The vehicle eventually came to a stop on its own in a field next to the church.
“I thought someone just pushed the car to be honest with you”, said one eyewitness. It was movin’ in slow motion, and you couldn’t see anyone drivin’. It was like a ghost or somethin’. Spooky.”
Another horrified witness described how the seemingly normal day was shattered by the screams of a panicked crowd. “I was talking with my friends, then alluva’ sudden everyone was screaming and pushing, and then this giant car comes right at me. I barely got out of the way”, she said still breathing heavily.
Police say Ms. Minner was traveling between 10 - 15 miles per hour when she suddenly swerved her Dodge Polara, smacking into a fire hydrant, and then steered into the crowd of people. It wasn’t a fast rate of speed, but it was still dangerous, say authorities.
Fortunately, no one was killed, although at least 28 people sustained minor injuries, with 2 suffering broken bones from being trampled while attempting to get out of harms way. Everyone got soaking wet.
Investigators are still trying to determine how Ms. Minner was able to gain access to her vehicle, as she has a suspended license. Her nephew Josh Minner said she probably hid a spare set of keys from her caregivers.
“Aunt Irene was always very independent-minded, so it doesn’t surprise me she would do something like this”, he said. “The problem is she’s only 4’11, and she never could see over the steering wheel of that thing anyway”, he continued.
Residents from the community were shocked by the news, and wondered about the odd coincidence of a Hurricane also named Irene barreling slowly along the East Coast leaving a similar path of destruction.
“It’s really weird how a little old lady can almost kill as many people as the ‘storm of the century’, but I guess stranger things have happened”, one resident observed.
Irene Minner was booked for driving without a license, bodily injury, destruction of property, and generally wasting everyone’s time for causing unnecessary panic.