Car crashes into Publix, 8 injured

PALM COAST, Fla. - Nearly two weeks after a plane crashed into a Deland Publix, a Toyota Camry crashed into a Publix in Palm Coast Saturday, injuring at least 8 people, the Flagler County Sheriff's office said.

At around 1:24 p.m., deputies said 76-year-old Thelma Wagenhoffer drove her car through the entrance to the store at 4950 Belle Terre Parkway. At least 8 people were injured as a result. One person had to be airlifted to Halifax Medical Center.

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.

Witnesses said an elderly man was trapped under the car. Florida Highway Patrol said some of the injuries were serious, but none was life-threatening.

Shoppers say the elderly woman blew through the stop sign, right through the Publix entrance, hit people in the express lane and stopped in front of the potato chip stand.

Customers ran to the rescue of those injured, grabbing gloves and gauze from behind the pharmacy and patching people up before first responders arrived. The manager of the store's meat department took charge to help the man under the car.

Lisa Goldstein said it was complete chaos, but amazing as 10 or 12 men rushed over and lifted up the car. She said a crane couldn't have picked it up any faster.

"It just all happened so fast but people were screaming and crying and running in each direction," Goldstein said.

Goldstein works at a different Publix store and was shopping on her day off with her husband, Keith. They went into the express lane to checkout, but Keith realized he forgot something.

"He went to get one last item, some ground beef and I went to go check my blood pressure in front of the pharmacy and all of a sudden I heard this loud explosion, my ear drum is still hurting from it and I turn my head and here came this car flying through at a good speed," she said. "I mean glass was flying everywhere. The lady driver fell out, on the floor, she was banged up pretty good."

Drivers are asked to avoid the area Saturday afternoon as FHP investigates the crash.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.