911 caller: 'Car just came through door at Publix'
Surveillance cameras record car crashing into grocery store
PALM COAST, Fla. – Callers to Flagler County 911 center Saturday afternoon reported a car drove into the Publix grocery store in Palm Coast, multiple injuries, at least one person pinned and, "there's people screaming everywhere."
"It just bust through and it kept going," another caller reported.
One caller told the dispatcher, "I've got a lot of injured people," and asked for five ambulances.
The phones calls were released Tuesday, along with video recorded by Publix surveillance cameras showing the car smashing through the front door, passing the checkout counters and ending up nearly in the center of the store.
A total of 10 people, ranging in age from 3 months to 86 years, were injured when 76-year-old Thelma Wagenhoffer drove her 2004 Toyota Camry crashed into the store about 1:30 p.m. Saturday.
Those who know Wagenhoffer said they couldn't believe what happened.
Maria Stramiatis lives across the street from Wagenhoffer, and said she drives all the time and is an "excellent" driver.
"I think she just had a bad experience, bad accident, bad day," Stramiatis said.
Another man who knows her said she rarely spoke.
"I don't think she knows what happened, to tell you the truth," he said.
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Also Tuesday, the Florida Highway Patrol filed careless driving charges against Wagenhoffer.
"The person in the car is OK," a Publix employee tells the 911 operator. "But there's a person pinned under the car."
While most of the injuries were minor, the Florida Highway Patrol reported that Lupo Hernandez, 83, and his wife were seriously injured. In the surveillance video, store employees and customers can be seen lifting Wagenhoffer's Camry off of Hernandez, who was pinned underneath it. He is in stable condition.
A teenage girl and a baby strapped into an infant seat in a shopping cart were among the others injured. Witnesses said the child flew from the stroller, landing in the cosmetics aisle.
FHP Cpl. Randall Naugher said he examined Wagenhoffer's car and determined that the wreck wasn't caused by any mechanical failure.
Flagler County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Debra Johnson said Saturday that Wagenhoffer was pulling up to a stop sign in front of the store when she apparently hit the gas pedal instead of the brakes.
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